Impact of IA & CS

After Century College’s last web redesign in which conducted and implemented content strategy principles and an intuitive information architecture, search dropped. 

In December 2015, Century College (Minnesota State two year technical and community college) launched a totally redesigned website, including heavy research on users, IA, and revised content strategy. The graphic below indicates an interesting effect on how the search was utilized.

Century uses Google’s Custom Search on the site, first implemented in 2012. Once the redesigned site was launched, we first used our agency’s recommendation of the Solr search included with Drupal. However, we found that it wasn’t meeting our needs, and went back to Google.  You can see the change in usage starting about a month into 2016.

Search queries in google custom search indicate improved information architecture and content strategy

You can see that, post redesign, the number of searches decreased dramatically. This indicates that users were able to intuitively find their way to the information they wanted, instead of relying on the search primarily. Just goes to show how the legwork of IA and CS can have a positive impact on higher education websites, which tend to be vast and sprawling and, as a result, difficult to navigate.

Tools: Google Custom Search
SkillsInformation architecture, web content strategy