Instructables is an online community of people who like to make things. The website has been around for quite some time and needed a modern refresh. I worked with our internal product team to gather insights from our users and then update a few core areas of the site with big user experience impact, including the site-wide navigation, the project browse page, and the search experience.
My roles: conducted user research, created mockups, gathered feedback, iterated on designs, worked with product manager to break into manageable steps and write up specs, and collaborated closely with our development team to ensure a successful launch.
I helped lead a round of user research so that we could better understand how users experience our site and what pain points they had. I ran UserTesting.com tests to get a feel for how a new visitor navigates through the site. We also sent out a survey to all of our existing users and conducted live video interviews to hear from long-time members of our community.
Navigation goals & insights
User testers had difficulty navigating to certain parts of the site (especially on mobile), struggled with the search, and lacked general awareness of our parent brand.
• Improve hierarchy of information by collapsing top links into a centralized "Projects".
• Make it easier to get home and treat the main logo consistently from page to page.
• Make top search bar larger and more visually prominent. On mobile, put in main header.
• Update the footer to connect with the Autodesk brand and tell the Autodesk story.
Search goals & insights
From the surveys, at least one third of people come to the site with a clear idea of what they are looking for. The most consistent feedback we got from the surveys is to make it easier to find things on the site. Another problem to solve was that we were serving different search experiences based upon whether a user was logged in or out.
• Same consistent search experience for logged in and logged out users.
• Implement autocomplete to display real-time project results as the user types.
• Display results in a visual grid format for easy scanning.
• Add new filters and sorting options to help users hone in their results.
Browse goals & insights
The most consistent feedback we got from the surveys is to make it easier to find things on the site. Our main categories were not super discoverable hidden away in a single dropdown and our filters and sorting needed improvement.
• Highlight the different categories by pulling them out into high level tabs.
• Separate filtering and sorting so they can be used together, and add new filters.