The American Water Works Association (AWWA) is the organization responsible for the training of the various municipal water utilities across the United States. Their website is a repository of training assistance and learning resources that have been accumulated over the years and has grown organically - leading to information architecture that was a complex and confusing. However, their older audience was averse to change and the AWWA team was worried that any changes to the website's navigation structure would be difficult for their userbase to accept. My team was approached to work within their brand guidelines to produce a simple, functioning prototype that reorganized their content into a new, easy to navigate website using modern methods that could be tested over the course of their annual conference.
The purpose of this project was to develop a new, forward thinking navigation and to see if their users would be able to properly use it. Most of AWWA’s clientele are not as technically savvy, so any change to the site’s architecture needs to be tested before moving forward to ensure usability.
However due to the amount of content that has aggregated, newer navigation options needed to be tried. Using wireframes, I was able to show a variety of navigation options quickly to ensure alignment between AWWA and my team.
Partnering With Userlytics
Our team partnered with Userlytics to gather test data from the tests in order to better understand and optimize the user experience. For the user testing, we started with the creation of a simple task list that would prompt the users to take certain actions throughout the prototype. The plan for the project was to test on the first day of the five day annual conference, collect & digest the data and rework the prototype for the last day of the conference to see if we could decrease task time and improve interface usability for their target audience. The data that was collected was screen recordings and audio recordings of the users as they worked through the task list, which were analyzed and suggested improvements were discussed with the AWWA team.
Those design improvements were implemented across the prototype and on the final day of the conference a new prototype was tested. After the second day of testing the number of users who made it through the complete task list increased by roughly twenty percent.