humanitarian site ux best practices v1.1b

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This presentation is intended to help community groups, non-profits and humanitarian organisations to design web sites that are easy to use. This will help you achieve the best results for the people you are trying to assist. After having helped many large corporations achieve good results through user centred design we have tried to package up our knowledge and insights to assist community and non-groups to help others. Rather than helping one group at a time we wanted to get our knowledge out there to help as many groups as we can in the important work you do. The insights are based on over 20 years of usability testing in several countries across a range of industries. The presentation is just a starting point. Feel free to add additional comments or guidance you think will be useful for community and non-profit groups. Also feel free to use or evolve the content in any presentations you give to community groups that will help them. We hope you find it helpful.


  • 1.DESIGN USABILITY FOR HUMANITARIAN WEB SITES Guidelines and international best practicesDean Wood, Vinko Grgic, Colette Grgic, Jaana Anttila, Dorota Raczkowska and Sophie OrchardApril 2014 1

2. HUMANITARIAN SITES OFTEN FAIL BECAUSETHEY: Dont help people understand what the site is about or nd what they need - leading people to leave Use language that people outside their groups do not understand - confusing users Are designed by committee - so lack of focus Dont involve real users in the design process Lack resources, time or knowledge about usability Dont have analytics / metrics to track and improve designHow much more could sites achieve for people they are intended to help? 2 3. WEB USABILITY & USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN Usability has become an established part of large organisations to ensure they achieve their goals The eld is a growing and evolving body of knowledge about what works for users. Practitioners apply the knowledge and skills User centred design is a process of designing for users and involving users in the design process to: Gain insights into what they need, how they approach tasks plus their equipment, environment, skills and attitudes Collaborate and complete usability testing 3 4. WHAT MAKES SITES EASY? 1. Information architecture / site structure Organisation of information and functionality to give people clear and fast access to what they needNumber and type of categories (e.g. task, priority, lifecycle...)2. Navigation and ow Positioning of links to guide people through content3. Content / Labelling Clarity of labels and content4. Visual design Clarity of links + aesthetics5. Interactivity Richness of functionality, e.g. ability to create, lter, save...6. Mobile rst Design for mobile / tablet resolutions before desktop 4 5. SITE STRUCTURE WHAT DOESNT WORK This is intended to help others learn, not just criticiseOrganisation of information and functionality to give people clear and fast access to what they needThe number and type of categories 5 6. MSF presents a reasonable top level structure but it could be hard for people to know where to go to get involved in a programme or to donate money. Not nding this information will impact MSFs effectiveness. 6 Site structure 7. The Red Cross provides some random and confusing categories, such as War and Law. This would be better presented in a separate area or with better context. 7 Site structure 8. Users are likely to be confused by the number of categories and how they relate to each other (both top and left nav). 8 Site structure 9. SITE STRUCTURE SITES TO LEARN FROM Organisation of information and functionality to give people clear and fast access to what they needThe number and type of categories 9 10. Overall, reasonable number of categoriesThe rst section How we help enables users to learn what the group does and what they can get. Sections like dates and workshops could be grouped but are generally OK. 10 Site structure 11. The Red Cross provides good categories to help people understand their work and to nd information and resources they need. 11 Site structure 12. Red Cross Australia provides a greater number of categories in its structure but this can help users make the best choice to nd what they need. 12 Site structure 13. NAVIGATION WHAT DOESNT WORK Positioning of links to guide people through content 13 14. The Red Cross site presents navigation everywhere. 14 Navigation 15. NAVIGATION WHAT WORKS Positioning of links to guide people through content 15 16. MSF presents a mega menu when users move their cursor over the heading. This saves users time in navigating and helps them nd the right section straight away. 16 Navigation 17. The site provides a good navigation bar and call to action for users to donate. 17 Navigation 18. The site provides good calls to action at the bottom of the page. 18 Navigation 19. CONTENT AND LABELLING WHAT DOESNT WORK Clarity of labels and content 19 20. OzHarvest does not provide a clear, concise overview of what they do or engage people in their mission. Our impact is a somewhat strange label and does not really equate to achievements or work. 20 Content & labels 21. CONTENT AND LABELLING WHAT WORKS Clarity of labels and content 21 22. The site uses clear language.It also presents an overview about the group on the home page so people can know what they are about. 22 Content & labels 23. The site provides a good overview on the home page.Users can scroll to learn more about the services. 23 Content & labels 24. VISUAL DESIGN WHAT DOESNT WORK 24 25. The visual design of sites can quickly get overwhelming, dis-engaging and appear dated. 25 Visual design 26. The MSF site could move the Highlights section a bit higher to give users an indication there is more below if they scroll. 26 Visual design 27. Avoid using light colours for text as it impacts readability (e.g. the mid-green).Always ensure high contrast between text and background. 27 Visual design 28. VISUAL DESIGN WHAT WORKS 28 29. ReliefWeb does a great job of providing an overview on the home page of what is going on and to give people quick, clear access to what they need. 29 Visual design 30. The MSF site presents a neat, clean home page which makes it easy for users to focus.The site also scrolls sections through the carousel on the left so users do not need to navigate. 30 Visual design 31. The site provides clear orientation at the topand a clear visual style.It would be better if users could lter courses by location. 31 Visual design 32. The site presents a clear style with a sense of visual hierarchy that guides the users attention to the most relevant information. 32 Visual design 33. INTERACTIVITY WHAT WORKS Sites are increasingly enabling users to connect according to location or interest and via social media. 33 34. www.350.orgThe site presents information about local groups.While there is unnecessary duplication of links it presents clear sections for local groups,events and members. 34 Visual design 35. MSF presents a great timeline feature so users can see events that have happened at different times.While this is good, it is not really clear what the timeline presents (MSFs work or simply global events). 35 Visual design 36. DESIGN FOR MOBILE WHAT DOESNT WORK Layouts that respond to device resolution (responsive) 36 37. On a mobile the Oxfam site does not re-factor and is very hard to read.This will lead many users accessing the site on a mobile to simply leave. 37 Mobile responsive 38. DESIGN FOR MOBILE WHAT WORKS Layouts that respond to device resolution (responsive)Check out responsive-charity-wordpress-themes-2014/ mobile-responsive-website-presidential-smackdown/ 38 39. 39 Mobile responsive template meets a lot of the key requirements identied in this review and is responsive, making it a good resource to consider. 40. 40 Mobile responsive The WWF site rolls up navigation but still provides clear calls to action. 41. 41 Mobile responsive The Red Cross site is quite responsive, even if it has strange / random categories at the top of both mobile and desktop. 42. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION WHAT WORKS Use keywords in the name, address, banner and contents so they are ranked highly in unpaid search results (e.g. on Google). 42 43. The sites listed here are doing a good job of including keywords on the pages to get ranked highly in Google. 43 SEO 44. The sites listed here are doing a good job of including keywords on the pages to get ranked highly in Google. 44 SEO 45. SOCIAL MEDIA WHAT WORKS Ensure you have a good presence and make regular updates to social media sites like Facebook. 45 46. Ensure you have a Facebook presence and get people involved in your group to get others to like the page.WWF has over 1 million friends who can help them reach others. 46 Social media 47. RECOMMENDED NEXT STEPS Apply the recommendations and principles in this presentation to sites where possible Groups without much money should look for design templates in WordPress that implements these recommendations. Test ideas with target users.Test the structure, labels and layout of hand drawn sketches with users initially to save time and cost Once the site structure and draft content prove easy for target users, develop the site fully. 47