Many thanks to all of you who took part in our card sorting exercise. This information is going to help us form our new user-centred poole.gov.uk.
The main aim of the exercise was to help us understand where users expect to find information and how they would label and group this information.
We contracted Dr Emily Webber from The Insight Lab to conduct the research and most of this post is based on her report.
Who took part
136 people started the card sort and of those, 96 completed it.
The majority of participants (70%) had visited poole.gov.uk before and were at least partially familiar with it. Of those remaining, 17% had never visited the site before, and 13% had visited but reported not to be familiar with it.
Whilst participants represented a range of ages, we failed to target those aged 70 plus resulting in a lower proportion of older users.
Results and findings
Participants were asked to group cards together in categories that made sense to them.
Some grouped in very small categories with only a few cards per group, e.g. Adoption and fostering; Museums; Garden and Commercial waste; others grouped broadly using categories such as Environmental services; Community services and Care.
Similarities and differences in the ways that cards were grouped suggest that multiple routes to information are needed to meet user expectations, and ensure that content is clearly understood and found.
Whilst neat groupings give us useful categorisations to form the basis of a user-focused structure, it is the ‘difficult to sort’ services (such as Prejudice incidences and hate crime) that are the key to minimising user frustration.
If they are difficult to sort, it stands to reason that users will also struggle to know where to look for them.
Following analysis these 11 primary content groups emerged:
- Waste and recycling
- Education, work and training
- Local issues and law
- Carers and caring
- Roads and highway maintenance
- Report an issue
- Transport and travel
- Weather warnings
- Housing and buildings
- Things to do
- Births, deaths and marriages.
It’s important to note that the names given to the categories above were chosen as a representation of the range of those given by participants.
Using this valuable feedback we can now start to shape how the site will be structured.
The groupings will be a foundation to build the rest of the site around, with a few tweaks here and there.
We need to make sure we provide a clear structure for all users to be able to complete an action and find information easily.