The Bluetooth Special Interest Group is the member-based global standards organization that manages the Bluetooth specification and ensures interoperability between billions of wireless devices. The Bluetooth website is an important resource for the 34,000+ member companies that design and market Bluetooth enabled products.
Clearly, our members were not happy with their website experience. Based on the survey numbers and comments, and anecdotal feedback gathered at various Bluetooth events, we developed our project objectives to:
The UX team inherited this site and were thus unfamiliar with how it was built and the thinking behind its organization. Conducting a heuristic evaluation to identify high-level usability issues was a good first step. Our findings showed us that the site has:
I conducted user interviews to collect qualitative data relative to usage, pain points, and unmet needs to determine our primary user segments and scenarios. We learned that members feel that:
Through stakeholder inputs and user interviews, I developed five main user types:
In order to understand how our users would organize the site, I conducted an open card sort to allow participants to create groupings of content and to provide meaningful category names. I then conducted a closed card sort where participants placed content items within predetermined categories (defined previously in the closed card sort).
Of the 19 in-person participants for the open card sort and 159 online participants for the closed card sort, there was considerable agreement of naming and content organization with only a few areas with low agreement. Based on our findings, we created a top-level navigation model and vetted with stakeholders:
Our research indicated that our design should include:
I created sketches of page designs with dedicated content modules for the needs of each of our external personas:
The intent of the layout was to create consistency and familiarity. The homepage design is of a similar visual format to many other sites, which was intentional. A format where content organization is easily understood and learned was a priority.
For the main navigation, I incorporated a mega dropdown menu into the design as a way to introduce more content options at the top level, and to aid users in learning the organization of the site.
I conducted usability testing — in-person and online — using a prototype of the new design built in collaboration with our front-end developer. We learned that:
The new website was released in March 2012, followed by two sprints of hypercare to fix bugs and broken links.
Members ranked the new website as the most improved program of the organization and the number one rationale for an overall 6% increase in satisfaction with the organization.*
Extensive user research paid off. Establishing a sound understanding of our users and theirs content needs helped us make informed decisions.
Sharing UX research findings with the project team helped keep user needs as a project priority. If you want to make sure user needs are part of the development process, then show your entire project team a video of a user's ten-minute rant on why your search functionality is so terrible that he doesn't use it anymore.
Give internal users some love, too. The first few weeks of site management with a new CMS were unnecessarily difficult for content owners. A modest training plan would have made a huge difference.
Since the completion of this project, the Bluetooth website has been redesigned — and replatformed — twice, yet much of the IA work that was defined in this project remains in place.