Burnaby: City Website Redesign

UX Design, IA and User Research

4 months (2020)

About the Project

The city of Burnaby wanted to redesign their website to improve findability of content, serve the citizens better and reduce phone calls.

The Problem

The project had already gone through a discovery phase where the target audience had been identified in the form of personas as well as the major pain points. This project aimed to improve the overall information architecture and user flow for a defined number of use cases. To keep the budget tight, we worked in a predefined design system, which imposed additional challenges for design solutions.

Planning Phase

To start the project and align expectations, I organized working sessions to identify the following:

1. User flows
We went through key user scenarios, identified the problems and aligned on the ideal outcomes. This step was crucial to identify the detailed requirements for this project.
2. Wireframe templates
Based on the flows, I identified a set of required page templates we needed to design. As we needed to stay within a tight budget, I based the page layout on a set of reusable content elements to reduce the number of templates as much as possible.

Design Phase

To create the identified page templates, I defined a set of sprints that started and ended with working sessions with the project team + client.

1. Content hierarchy workshop
I started each sprint by reviewing the specific user flow, review results from a competitive analysis and discuss the content hierarchy for the required page templates.
2. IA & Sitemap
Based on a heuristic analysis and a card sorting exercise I restructured the sitemap of the website and designed a new navigation approach.
3. Wireframes
I designed wireframes in collaboration with developers to ensure the use of reusable components.
4. Usability Test
I finished the phase with moderated usability tests to get feedback from citizens based on an interactive prototype.

Challenges & Restrictions

The biggest challenges for this project was the limited budget and time restrictions. We overcame these challenges by working very closely as a team, having regular working sessions and getting alignment on compromises that would ensure a successful outcome. Designing with a limited amount of content components reduced options for solutions.

Outcomes & Learnings

Despite the restricted design approach, this project was a massive push for the team and forced us to think creatively. Having a very engaged client supporting this project with internal knowledge and feedback was vital for its success. The redesign of this website won a design award for its performance and user-friendliness.