Every year INCAE BUSSINESS SCHOOL makes a ranking, in which qualifies websites of public entities in Costa Rica. Heredia's city hall has participated since 2013. Even though the site was redesigned in 2014, the grade didn’t get as higher as they expected.
Gretchen(my current business partner) and I were hired for ten weeks to analyze why, according to INCAE’s parameters, the site didn't receive the response they wanted.
See the current site here.
Analysis of the current site, reviewing each of the sections and problems at first sight.
Stakeholders interviews: two main questions we needed them to answer:
For whom and for what each of the sections were designed?
Personas. Two important types:
- Users that expected something from the cityhall
- Users that needed to give something to the city hall, such as the ones that need to pay taxes
INCAE BUSSINESS SCHOOL interview:
On the annual ranking, on 2015 the website was 13 places lower than 2014, even though they redesigned the entire website. We needed to understand how do they do the evaluation.
To understand the evaluation better, we asked the city hall to make a self-evaluation. We took INCAE's parameters and made a test with them, that was the only way we could be sure that they knew exactly what the evaluation was about
Information architecture of the current site:
Architecture proposal: We identified two main types of information:
- ACTIVE information: has a direct impact on the users and there is an action involved. Also, this is the type of information with more traffic on the site. (e.g., taxes or job offers)
- PASSIVE information: is essential to know, but there isn't a direct action from the users, it is static. Only information consumption (e.g., campaigns or infrastructure changes). According to with this information, we designed the IA.
Almost half of the options, the users didn’t know what they meant.
The users couldn’t know which options were just informative and which ones had an action involved. (e.g., Cemetery was only informative -passive- and the users asked: Can I pay the grave there? -action-)
Since we were hired just for the analysis, we didn't design all the wireframes for all the pages. We create the homepage, so they were able to visualize the concept; to understand what we meant when we said that the page needs to be divided into two big pieces of content: ACTIVE and PASSIVE.
It was crucial to keep a simple homepage because only 17% of the users interact with it. By doing this, we could save money by reducing time at coding, and also fewer employees need to spend time upgrading the site.
Architecture and homepage wireframe:
In the end, we delivered a 150 pages document with all the research, results, conclusions, etc. In this case, for being an entity of the government, the reasons of change needed to be very clear for the mayor, so we made sure that the document was extremely easy to ready, regardless your professional background.