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User group feedback

Why we did this?

Evidence shows that the home front page isn’t being used to its full potential and we need to get much more out of the page for our users. So as part of the work to improve the homepage, we took the step of inviting comments from our real users to feedback on the draft designs.  The designs are based on the evidence we have gathered from the existing use of the site and we have tried to include all of the popular bits that users have raised as well as the content that our usage stats show is most used.

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The website is our shop window for many hundreds of thousand visitors each month and provides a large amount of information on many subjects.  This large volume of information can cause issues for some people finding the specific information that they want.  We want to make that easier and the first stage is to get the home page right.

We had a fantastic response with nearly 300 people taking part. The survey involved carrying out common tasks and gave an opportunity to feedback on the new home page designs.  There were some really supportive responses and also some constructive critique of the designs.  We have put all of the information together to get a better overall view of people’s feedback.

We used a tool to provide us with some valuable feedback showing where people clicked when trying to find information. That has given us insight into how we can improve.  One improvement is a better way of delivering the navigation, we will be introducing “mega menus”, these will be able to show you lots of links and things to do in a much easier way, and this should help you get to the area you are interested in much more quickly. The next stage will be improving the quality of the content that’s on the website.

We have started building the home page and will hopefully soon have something in a test area for people to have a look at.

We will also be looking at how we can improve our search based on feedback we have had from the group.

I just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you that have taken part in this exercise and hopefully we can show you something in the very near future.