Tap your audience when overhauling your site

More users will visit—and stay on—a site tailored to their tastes and specifications.

More users will visit—and stay on—a site tailored to their tastes and specifications

Your site boasts great content, but if your users can’t find it, you’re sunk.

There’s a simple solution: Ask your audience how they want to use your site.

Doing just that has helped USAJOBS.gov redesign its site after ongoing surveys showed users were overwhelmingly unhappy with the site’s navigation. Site administrators at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management relied on focus group feedback throughout the six-month redesign to shape the navigation and design.

Without such input, the new site—launched Jan. 23—would have looked and felt completely different, says project head Kim Bauhs. “When people heard that we were looking at USAJOBS, we started getting feedback from people out of the blue,” she says.

That feedback helped the site team set priorities. “We took those things that we heard, found patterns of things that were causing frustration for people, and we tried to tackle those things first.”

Make it simple

Designers knew a lot had changed in Web design since the site’s last overhaul, in 2003. With that in mind, they mocked up a home page packed with more colors, lots of icons, and photos.

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