- Jo Szczepanska
- ReachOut Australia
The ‘Using ReachOut.com’ section was found to be often overlooked on the homepage with only 1.35% of ReachOut Professionals web traffic flowing through to it’s content. Looking broadly the ReachOut Professionals team conducted in-field interviews, card sorts, and site data analysis to paint a picture of what professionals expected to be in ‘Using ReachOut.com’ section of the site and how content could be presented to meet their needs.
User research included sixteen participants inclusive of a senior psychologist, adolescent health nurse, procedural GP, corrections officer, chaplain, and therapeutic social worker. It was conducted in two locations, to complement our testing in Melbourne we also traveled to regional Geraldton in Western Australia. This approach allowed us to explore the full spectrum of ReachOut Professionals users; from those with ample resources in Metropolitan areas to those who were more isolated. We also made an effort to consult with professionals who were working with CALD (Culturally and linguistically diverse) youth, LGBTIQ teens and youth with Aboriginal or Torres strait islander descent.
The Interviewing process
One-to-one contextual interviews allowed us to collect the stories of professionals at their workplaces. For those who had used the ReachOut Professional site, we probed them on their experiences, while for new users we monitored first impressions. We engaged interviewees in a card sorting activity looking at the ‘Using ReachOut’ section on its own and it in relation to the remainder of the site. Usability testing in the form of a Task Matrix was used to validate or nullify the need of an Information Architecture restructure.
Research inputs were consolidated into a detailed report including actionable design centric recommendations and a Customer Journey map which captures the current end-to-end experience ReachOut Professionals.
In the case of ReachOut Professionals a Customer Journey Map highlights both challenges professionals face day-to-day and a range of opportunities for innovation and improvement for ReachOut.com in general. By understanding and championing the needs of end users, and being aware of the details of their journeys through the ReachOut ecosystem, ReachOut Professionals can create more targeted products and streamlined service which they are beginning to strategise and rollout in the near future.
Comment from ReachOut Professionals
User-centric design is a core focus of the ReachOut Professionals service. Prioritising the needs of our users ensures that professionals have easy access to the right information to support their work with young people.
We have begun investigating the details of the identified changes with our users, using a content review and audit, and a user card sort (for category re-design). We intend to begin implementing some changes by the end of 2015 followed by broader investigations to solve some of the more significant issues such as mobile compatibility.