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User Testing: Retooling an HR Intranet

The Problem
The site’s front page tried to be a one-click shop by featuring many links to various features. Although these were grouped under category headings, users tended to ignore the headings and instead searched through the links one by one.This problem was compounded since 40 to 60 links appeared on category pages. Users ignored the subheadings and sequentially searched the links, often giving up after reading through 10 or 15 items and failing to find the information they wanted.

The Solution
Guide users to category headings rather than link items. When the mouse moves over an item on the category bar, text appears below describing the contents of the destination page. On category pages, headings are subtly emphasized so they can be read at a glance. Category headings are shaded and rendered in 14-point type, larger than the 11-point link items, which themselves are large enough for older adults. Other changes were also made, such as repositioning and resizing elements

markrichman@lycos.com

  Original Home Page with many links
Redesigned Home Page emphasizing categories