Re-architecting and Re-branding

Problem

Navigating the site can be overwhelming.

The Department of Agriculture’s domain is far-reaching; they provide a huge wealth of resources, services, and information. People can find it a lengthy process navigating through the voluminous information.

Solution

Make information more easily and quickly accessible, while giving the design a refresh.

Re-organize the navigation to make it easier and quicker for users to get to the information they are looking for. Additionally, the brand will be revamped to make it welcoming and more representative of the Dept of Agriculture’s identity and voice.

Responsive Re-Design

See the Design Process

OVERVIEW

The USDA "...provide[s] leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management."
USDA.gov - What We Do

ROLE

  • IA Designer
  • UX Designer
  • UI Designer
  • Brand Designer

TOOLS

  • Sketch
  • Photoshop
  • Pen & Paper
  • InvisionApp

Information Architecture

Categorizing and re-organizing information for easier navigation.

This department covers a lot of ground and it was a bit overwhelming knowing where to start. The pain point I saw visitors struggle with most was sifting through a long navigation list. The list of topics is so long, that it becomes scrollable on mobile devices.

  • Current Design

    The current navigation is a long list of topics that require you to scroll.

  • Proposed Design

    Information is chunked into categories, reducing cognitive load.

  • The category with the longest list can be quickly scanned.

Card Sorting

It took a considerable amount of time to read through the information on the site to understand the content and how they may be related. I tried different variations of topics and subtopics. Through iterations of user testing, I was able to come up with category names that best identified and related to its topics.

Paper Prototypes

I tested 2 paper prototypes to test interaction and comprehension of category topics. These sketches were put on inVision to make clickable prototypes users could walk through. This method was helpful in iterating rapidly before investing time in building wireframes.

First iteration: I tested different mobile navigation interactions, no change to IA.

Second iteration: Testing IA categories. Conservation did not test well as a category name.

Branding

Refresh the site design to represent the department’s identity and voice.

Through discovery and exploration of creating the mood board (imagery, color, fonts), designing the logo, and defining the tone of voice I was able to create a design that is more in tune and representative of the USDA.

View the USDA Brand Guide

Before and After Redesign

Reflection & Learnings

Test ideas early and quickly.

Be scrappy, use minimal time and effort for early testing. This enables you to fail and iterate faster so you have more time to work on developed ideas in the solution space.