GUGGENHEIM

I had been hired by my client, Guggenheim, an art museum in New York City, to analyze its business and market space. My job was to understand the needs of its business, test its existing navigation to see whether there's a need for improvement and then propose a redesign for its website's content structure.

I am not affiliated with Guggenheim and nothing that follows is criticism on its existing website. This is an exploration on problems I discovered about its website's existing information architecture.

My Role

User Research, Ideation, Sketching, Hi-fi Wireframing & Prototyping, User Testing

Team

Solo Project

Tools

Sketch, InVision Studio, Optimal Workshop, Card Sorting, Keynote

Persona

Before the start of the design process, I was introduced to Florence. She was used as a reference point to ensure the design decisions I made would improve Guggenheim's content structure for my target audience.

Design Process

Discover

Define

Design

Testing

Business Model Canvas

Competitive Matrix

Competitive Feature Analysis

Comparative Feature Analysis

Tree Study on Existing Website

Card Sorting on Existing Website

Heuristics Evaluation

Existing Site Map

Problem Statement

Low-Fi Sketches

Hi-Fi Wireframes

Hi-Fi Clickable Prototype

Proposed Site Map

User Flow

Card Sorting on Proposed Website

Competitive Matrix

A competitive matrix was used to compare museums based on the contemporary/historical content they have on display and their minimalistic/maximalistic interiors. This helped in ideating the final design of Guggenheim's website, which should be a digital reflection of the museum's physical space.

 

Compared to most museums in NYC, Guggenheim takes a minimalistic approach to the design of its physical space and the same can be said about its digital space.

Card Sorting on Existing Website

A round of both closed and open card sorting were done, with 5 participants each round, to achieve insight into how users perceive and structure the content on Guggenheim's website.

Results proved that there is a need for changes to the content structure and the ambiguous titles to improve findability of information.

The Problem

Guggenheim takes a minimalistic approach to the design of its physical space and its digital space. While its content structure tries to be simple, it is actually frustrating to use because the labels it provides for the content are ambiguous, leading to many confused users, like Florence, who are interested in visiting, but want more information about the museum first because they have busy lives.

How might we save Florence time on the museum's website but still be able to provide her with the most relevant information?

Site Maps (Existing Vs. Proposed)

Site maps provided a visualization of the "depth" of the website.

 

It can be noted that there are less tiers to the content hierarchy of my proposed navigation, which is essential to our persona, Florence, because she does not have time to waste navigating across many screens to find relevant information.

Existing Site Map

Proposed Site Map

Primary Navigation

The navigation bar's placement was moved from the side to the top because users typically scan the screen from the top first and not the side, so this provides convenience for them. While this change was made, Guggenheim's minimalistic approach to the design of its website still remains.

Structured Content and Findability

"Engage" was replaced with "Media/Communications" in the primary navigation because from the tree study and card sorting results, users were confused about how "Engage" relates to the content on the secondary navigation ("Video", "Audio", "Blogs"). Most users grouped this content into categories, such as "Media" and "News", during the open card sort. Additionally, some content on the secondary navigation of the existing website were resorted into new categories that made more sense, so that they were more findable.

Interactive Prototype (Click the Image Below!)

Closed Card Sorting (Existing Vs. Proposed)

Two rounds of closed card sorting were performed; one with the content structure of the existing navigation and another with the content structure of my proposed navigation. This was done to gain insight into whether my changes made the overall structure of the content easier to understand.

The key takeaway was that the percentage of cards sorted inside the assigned categories is greater for my proposed design, which proved that there is a need to make changes to the overall content hierarchy.

Reflection

Time management was important because having done extensive research and analysis on Guggenheim's business model, information architecture and heuristics, there was a lot of data to synthesize and a limited amount of time to complete the deliverables. I found that taking on the role of an information architect was both fun and challenging because it is all about organizing content, so that users are able to find everything they need without too much effort. If I had the opportunity to be an information architect again, I would be up for the challenge!

Next Steps

• Incorporate "Membership" into the primary navigation.

• Separate "Visit" and "Events" into two different categories in the primary navigation instead of having the events under "Visit"

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