We have been working alongside QAA for a number of years now. Together, we have tackled all kinds of UX conundrums; supporting usable design, clarifying language and helping to develop a digital footprint that would boost their appeal to international users, too.
We have collaborated on projects encompassing everything from Information Architecture (IA), to content strategy, design, user testing and, of course, accessibility. UX design, research and content have been the cornerstones of our expansive collaboration so far, specifically working on the development of their site’s IA, journeys, modularity of design and tone of voice.
In 2016, our initial usability testing on QAA's site, as well as on its sister website, Enhancement Themes (ET), revealed a wide range of challenging issues. It was clear that their most searched for content - useful to both domestic and overseas users - was hidden within the IA, often obscured by non-mobile friendly pages or portable document file (PDF) formats, and within paragraphs of text.
Navigation was poor, while the sites themselves fell short against the user experience QAA wanted to offer, an issue acutely apparent in the front-end look and feel.
By 2017, it was clear that design capacity was limited internally, which meant that many of the recommendations we had made the previous year had not been implemented in the timescales expected. We were therefore invited back to QAA HQ in Gloucester to revitalise the relaunch of the website project and provide a deeper level of design support. Our brief presented three objectives:
- To create a bank of design templates and components with the provision of a fully responsive design specification across the sites
- To review the IA and ensure that the labels and levels of content could support the comprehension levels of all users
- To apply the insight we already had, but take on board the latest QAA proposition changes, including the business management aspects due to governmental policy shift