Organization : Shelter Scotland
Products: Housing advice web site
Position: UX consultant
Shelter Scotland is a leading housing charity that provides housing and legal advice to the general public. They do this via their web site and their front-line staff who help people primarly by phone support.
Shelter Scotland wanted to reduce the number of calls to front-line staff by having people to self-serve by accessing existing content on the web.
PLANNING AND RESEARCH
Using call volume metrics I figured out which housing topics represented the highest number of calls.
I also asked front-line phone operators and their managers about the most commonly asked questions.
I interviewed the web site content writer and asked if there was information on the site that might help users self-serve before calling front-line staff for help. The writer targeted content and I analyzed web site metrics to see if there was a correlation between the front-line staff answers and the number of Google search hits that specific subject sections on the site got.
Front-line staff were also looking to introduce live-chat functionality and were looking for the best way to promote it on the web site.
To get an idea of what kind of information and advice was provided on the web site I set about conducting a content audit of the web site. Much of the content hadn’t been updated in some time and had become buried in lower layers of information architeture as the web site grew over time. The most important information was difficult to access and not consolidated for ease of use.
Based on my findings, I wrote and presented a content management strategy that proposed re-writing and re-organizing the content on the front page and second level of navigation into popular topics. This would help people find relevant information and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
I formulated some key performance indicators that would be used to measure success would be an overall reduction in calls related to those areas of inquiry.
MOCK UPS AND USER TESTING
To capitalize on the newly orgainzed content, as well as the new live-chat functionality that front-line staff were going to launch, I created mock ups of a function that people could use to self-serve before deciding to call or online chat with front-line staff. With a few answers from drop down menus, people could access the new popular topics. This would be done just in case people were not wanting to read the content before picking up the phone.
Testing for this project was limited to internal staff.
I formulated a test plan with specific business areas within the organization in mind, Marketing/Communications, Policy and front-line staff. I chose these because of their knowledge of the content, and their contact with the public in either front-line work, surveys or campaign days.
Finally I drafted a test plan for two sets of testing; one day with people from Marketing/Communications and Policy and the other day with front-line phone operators and their manager in the Glasgow office.
After the testing was complete, I organized and wrote up a document for my manger that outlined the results of the testing; what went well, what didn’t, what kind of feedback users gave us and how we needed to change, adapt or abandon specific features.
Shelter Scotland did a re-organization of the content on the first two levels of their web site to reflect the most frequently ask areas questions and the overall calls to front-line staff related to those topics did drop. Web analytics also showed increased traffic in the sections that were placed on the frist two levels of the site.