User-centered design for the Federal Government
The Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment is active on four domains; health, food, animals & plants and environment. They organize health care, ensure product safety at all levels of the food chain, promote animal and plant health and strive for a high-quality environment for all.
The task for the Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment included the redesign of their current website (www.health.belgium.be). The new design for this content-rich website needed to be easier, more user-friendly and customer-focused.
What we did
Our user-centered design (UCD) approach puts the needs and the requirements of the end-users central in every part of the design process. We start with a user & context workshop with the client to collect as much info as possible about their business and their end-users. We also discuss the technical possibilities and limitations.
Through a job analysis we discovered which tasks the user tried to fulfill on the website. We used Google Analytics to study which pages are most visited, what the most used keywords are, … This task analysis resulted in a wide range of tasks that end-users want to be able to perform: a longlist.
The next step was checking this longlist with the client in a content workshop. Together with the internal stakeholders this longlist was reduced to a shortlist of the most important tasks for the new website. These top tasks are the main reasons visitors come to the website.
During the content analysis the current content of the website was mapped. By comparing this with the top tasks (shortlist) we could list the content to be created and the content that was unnecessary and could therefore be deleted.
During a consolidation meeting we discussed the results of this analysis with the client. Together we identified the scope for the rest of the project and we determined the priorities (about the users, the context and the content requirements).
Through this extended analysis, we were able to a create a clear picture of the end-users of the FPS website. Alongside the context in which they work and the content that will be on the new site. Its success lies in the continual alternation between creation and verification, both with end-users and the internal stakeholders.
In the next phase we will develop the information architecture. The continual alternation between creation and verification will be continued in this phase as well. The methods used to do this will be:
- Card sorting (live and online) with end-users
- Information architecture workshop with FPS employees
- Structural testing with end-users