My primary focus for 2022 is to update the JMCRS portion of the JAX.org website. This is a cross-department collaboration that began in the beginning of 2021 and requires significant coordination of multiple stakeholders.
Historically, there have been no dedicated UX designers at the Jackson Laboratory. This has resulted in a website with content redundancies, unclear story lines, inconsistent user interface.
As part of the effort to improve this: 1) I am co-leading the development of a UX Governance Group that will create a check and balance for pages being added to the website; 2) Co-leading the creation of a UX Design System that will fill in the gaps missing from the brand guidelines for web interfaces; 3) Re-defining the information architecture of the JMCRS sections of the website to reduce redundant content, enable self-discovery for customers, and better communicate products and services; 4) redesigning webpages to increase page value and support the improved architecture.
Improving Site Architecture
Working with the Manager of Digital Strategy, we exported an excel sheet of all current JMCRS pages including data of page views over the last year, and when the page was last updated.
I took that excel sheet and mapped out, visually, the hierarchy of the pages. This process illustrated the complexity of the website, and illuminated instances of redundant pages.
And with that insight, I reorganized the content so it would be less pages overall. The organization made it clear where new information should go as we develop more products and services. It also makes it easier to link pages so we don't have to repeat offerings on multiple pages.
I collaborated with our Technical Information Scientists to review my proposals, who have a deep understanding of the science but also work with customers on a daily basis. I also consulted our Sales teams and Project Managers to ensure this was an accurate organization of our catalog.
Improving Page Value
Previously, JMCRS organized information by specific diseases. While this seemed like a reasonable why to organize information, it was creating a lot of redundant content. This is because, for example, the tests researchers would use to evaluate Muscular Dystrophy and very similar to the tests one may use for Parkinson's Disease. This also meant that users would have to navigate pages of links in order to find the information relevant to them.
The revised Neurobiology page launched on March 12. The results have shown an increase in page views by over 100%, a bounce rate decrease of more than 60% and more time and interaction on the page, resulting in an increased average time on the page by more than 115%.