Improving your site usability is the art of analyzing and structuring data so that it can be understood and utilized.

Example of a site map workflow.

We use information architecture to deconstruct essential business processes and visualize information and data. At BOALT, we have a multi-disciplinary team of business analysts, creative designers and technology consultants who take on the challenge of finding a perfect balance of user experience and business objectives.

For existing site structures, we assess the current workflow and perform analytics to gauge where the potential pitfalls are with the pages and where we need to focus our efforts. From our findings, we determine how deep we need to begin the process of replanning and rearchitecting the site content.

We worked on an extensive engagement with Northrop Grumman to help their developers plan a user experience for law enforcement offices with a crime database terminal.

Define the objectives.

We start by defining the actual business goals. What are we trying to accomplish? Are we driving a user through a funnel? Are we explaining a complicated process? Are we seeking a lead or capturing information? Whatever the objective, the goal has to drive the process. From there we drive down through a path of steps to help our teams and our clients understand our blueprint for creating success. This step also requires some built-in research to help vet out ideas.

Sketch out navigation ideas and outline data paths.

We like to sketch out paper prototypes and rough outlining documents that help us produce workflow diagrams including site maps and navigation structures. The more complicated and deep the navigation and content is, the more intensive this phase tends to be. It’s important to go through robust testing of ideas because the outline of the main components of the content is a key driver for the user experience. Testing theories with rapid HTML prototypes is also another great way to visualize how the user will navigate certain steps in a process based on the navigation that is presented to them.

Detailed wireframing.

Our wireframes are detailed in terms of visualizing content, but devoid of the creative layer. This keeps the focus on the information and saves time so we can replicate the process as many times as required.

Wireframes are generally a skeletal mockup of your web interface that mimics the web page layouts. They’re usually drawings of lines and boxes that outline the page components. From time to time,we turn wireframes into rough HTML mockups with working links to allow our clients and decision makers to get a feel for how our solution will behave.

After we gather data and feedback from our clients and internal teams, we use these documents and assets to help drive the creative process, where the remaining site usability questions will be solved with layers of creative design.

Our information architecture is just one aspect of a larger process all geared toward design and building better solutions that drive conversion and results. Here’s a list of other services that overlap with our site usability services.

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