This case study showcases just one piece of the navigation redesign effort; the research and user testing phase. This was a joint effort between myself and our head of product design, with valuable input from the engineering and product teams.
A legacy navigation structure with issues that included repeat terminology, confusing navigation structure, and a poor usability score.
Create a flexible navigation structure that can fit the expanding platform while increasing usability.
A combination of nested navigation elements, a consistent toolbar, and a simplified admin navigation should solve most of the current problems.
Problems with our current navigation
As a team we first took a look at navigation structures and supporting studies for multi-level navigation. We found that our current navigation structure tested the lowest in usability. We also took a look at our current pain-points and how they were affecting our users. We found things like repeat terminology was a major issue.
Multi-level navigation study
Repeat Terminology, inconsistent toolbar, unnecessary admin header.
We conducted 2 missions with 2 different navigation structures, we asked the users to navigate to the devices page and navigate to the property settings. The first mission was to gauge how successful our nested navigation would work as well as to see if users understood nomenclature. The second mission was to see if users could navigate the settings of the site without prior knowledge of the platform.
Navigate to the devices page
Navigate to the property settings.
Nav Structure 1
Replaced side bar (a revised version of our current structure)
Nav Structure 2
Tab Navigation (a new structure that is contextual to the page)
We had huge success with our nested navigation. Users had a 100% success rate in navigating to the Units page using the dropdown.
Users rated the new navigation a 5.4 out of 6 for ease of use
Tabs were rated easy to use 62% of the time, where replaced side navigation was rated easy to use only 41% of the time.
Tabs had a usability score of 74 compared to 28 for Replaced Sidebar.
Looking at the findings from this test we were confident moving forward with a tab navigation structure.
Moving away from the current structure will help reduce pain points and create a sustainable structure for expansion.
With an average success rate of 100%, and a usability score of 94 this revised navigation will help reduce cognitive load for global navigation and help create a template that can be used across products.