Research is complete

The research portion of the Refresh project is complete.  Here are some key findings of our surveys, focus groups, peer site reviews and metrics analysis.

We conducted four focus groups, 11 interviews and received 897 survey responses from a wide array of audiences, including faculty, staff, current undergraduate and graduate students, prospective undergraduates, parents, alumni, and the public. A warm thank you goes out to everyone who helped in this process.

Survey Results Overview

897 respondents – all colleges and schools represented
•    46% Staff
•    21% Prospective Undergraduate Students
•    14% Current Graduate Students
•    8% Current Undergraduate Students
•    4% Faculty
•    2% Alumni
•    2% Parents

Home page and UT Direct usage frequency
•    64% go to home page at least once per day
•    49% go to UT Direct at least once per day

Mobile type
•    31% iPhone
•    36% Other Smartphone
•    33% No Web-capable mobile device

Frequency – access Internet via a mobile device
•    38% at least once per day
•    15% infrequently
•    47% never

Descriptors – how respondents would like to describe the new Web site
•    Easy to use
•    Informative
•    Clean
•    Searchable

Top Web site usage by audience
•    Staff, Undergraduates, Parents and Prospective Undergraduates – Home page and UT Direct
•    Faculty and Graduate Students – Libraries and UT Direct

Strengths of current site
•    Easy
•    Directory and search access

Weaknesses of current site
•    Search
•    Hard to find information

Task importance by audience – Click for larger view

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Mobile task importance by audience – Click for larger view

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Even More Research

The Refresh Information Architecture working group developed content inventories, personas, search term analysis, Web site metrics and peer site reviews.

Peer Site Reviews

Our peer review analysis consisted of two different forms. We organized a peer review activity with each focus group. Participants in the focus groups were asked to evaluate the positives and negatives of home pages of 10 peer institutions and then select their favorites.  This information is being utilized to identify visual and layout preferences.

The Refresh Information Architecture working group completed a detailed 116-question survey on 23 peer institutions.  The peer review survey results provide detailed information on everything from naming conventions to content placement to technology usage.  For instance, on home pages of sites reviewed, only 15% use the entire width of the screen but more than 70% have information that you have to scroll down to see.

Web Site Metrics and Heat Map

We pulled the average monthly clicks from Dec. 2008 – Nov. 2009 on every link on the current home page to develop this heat map – click for larger view:

Heat Map - Click for larger view

Legend (average):
•    Red: More than 100,000 clicks/month
•    Orange:  99,999 – 25,000 clicks/month
•    Yellow: 24,999 – 5,000 clicks/month
•    Green: 4,999 – 2,500 clicks/month
•    Blue: 2,499 – 1,000 clicks/month
•    Purple: Fewer than 1,000 clicks/month
•    Grey: No data available

Next Steps

We are analyzing all of our mountains of data to develop recommendations based on our audience-focused research. Our next steps include creating wireframes for the home page and second-level pages.

Posted in Research