Analyzing the problem
Taking a closer look, we evaluated how HMH previously held their research on their site. We also identified how diverse HMH research publications were and their current shortcomings.
Issue 1: Research was hard to find
Prior to fully adapting their website with their new rebrand and visual identity, their research was buried under layers of content. There wasn't a centralized area where the research lived, and each report only opened as a PDF. Their website wasn't able to convey HMH's perspective on ESSA or show any top-level indicators if report would be relevant to the user.
Before any sketching, we had to outline who we were designing for and how they might approach HMH's research. We identified three types of users:
- Administrators (school principals, school district officials, and superintendents)
- HMH Specialists
Reimagining the user flow
We first analyzed how HMH had presented their research in the past. Then we performed a competitive audit to analyze how competitors or analogous organizations orient their users in getting to their research. Armed with knowledge of our past and our competitors at the present, we developed a future state for HMH's research. It's important to note this audit was completed in July 2018 and the information architecture of each organization's website may have changed.
After many sketches, we present the client with low-fidelity wireframes with content outlines for each relevant screen. This allowed us to get on the same page, but also give the client opportunity to collaborate with us during the design process.
We outlined four areas within research:
- Research landing page
- Research library
- Individual report templates
- ESSA landing pages
Over the course of 2 - 3 month