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City of Unley

City of Unley engaged Atomix to assist the organisation in onboarding the principles of human centred design for their new website project, as well as delivering an information architecture and content strategy that reflects the needs of their users.

Project summary

Key services:

  • User research and data analysis
  • Stakeholder discovery and ideation workshops
  • Information architecture design and testing
  • Stakeholder engagement and change management

The requirements:

  • Taking a people-centred approach to research and design
  • Understanding business and user needs through stakeholder consultation and workshops
  • Designing and testing a new information architecture and navigation pathways
  • Supporting City of Unley with information design training and artefacts
  • Supporting City of Unley with the rollout of Human Centred Design (HCD) training internally

The outcome

A shallow, minimised navigation structure prioritises actionable tasks, with shortcuts to frequently-accessed areas and user-directed labelling. Thanks to in-depth research, the new IA reflects the mental models of City of Unley’s customers, as opposed to mirroring the structure of the council’s departments and internal teams, making sure users can quickly and intuitively access online services, transact and find information.

The impact

  • 87% task success rate using the new navigation strategy, compared to <60% success rate with the old navigation
  • Shortcuts to frequently-accessed areas and user-directed labelling
  • 8-month project turnaround from strategy to MVP launch
  • Website developed on OpenCities CMS and launched in June 2020

Visit the new website

Our approach

Desk-based research and customer surveys provided valuable data to inform customer journey maps.

Multiple Human Centred Design workshops helped us to gain insights from the City of Unley team, while engaging key stakeholders in the strategy process.

Within council, there are numerous business-critical touch points and services, all with unique customer types and content requirements. In order to understand these, we engaged the expertise of Council’s dedicated staff. Over 50 people attended each workshop, with participants from executive management, CX, administration and off-site depot street maintenance teams.

User research via interview and card sort methods helped us to understand how users interpreted, grouped and labelled information. These insights informed our approach to the information architecture, navigation labels and taxonomies.

An iterative IA design & testing process, using insights from workshops, website analytics and user research, informed two options for testing.

Testing helped to validate our approach and provided measurable task success rates as well as highlighted areas for improvement.

The final IA achieved an 87% task success rate, compared to <60% success rate with the old navigation. The resulting IA is a a shallow, minimised navigation structure which prioritises actionable tasks, with shortcuts to frequently-accessed areas and user-directed labelling.

Throughout the project, we liaised with elected council members, executive management team, CX team and other stakeholders responsible for the delivery of key services.

We assisted with change management and created new content governance structures, ensuring the website project was delivered with the best customer-centric outcome. Multiple workshops were delivered, focused on taking a human-centred approach to delivering digital services and making it easier for customers to transact online.

We delivered a ‘Writing for the Web’ training workshop to assist the City of Unley content authors in successfully writing and designing useful content for web users.

The training workshop provided all stakeholders and content producers with the knowledge required to support the council in the successful delivery of online services.

Training guides and artefacts were produced to assist teams with content decision-making and provide long-term frameworks for implementation in future projects:

Artefact: Information design guide 

  • To support content usability when implementing business-critical information.
  • To guide content publishers on how to use various CMS elements to create scannable, easy-to-read content structures.
  • Information design is the practice of presenting information in a way that fosters an efficient and effective understanding of the information.
  • This offers clarity of communication, helping users make sense of information through simple, succinct language, formatting and structuring techniques.

Artefact: Content governance decision-making framework 

  • Used to determine where content should live on the website.
  • Guides content administrators through a flowchart process, by posing a series of questions.
  • Based on the answers, the framework will suggest ways in which teams can handle their content.
  • Can be used for new or existing content, and is worth re-evaluating on an ongoing basis.
  • Facilitates objective decision-making when new content is being published where there are conflicting opinions between teams.

Take a human-centered approach to strategy

Contact us to discuss your needs, ask any questions and uncover the critical problems facing your users.