USDA


USDA
STRATEGY, TAXONOMY, IA & USER EXPERIENCE
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is made up of 29 agencies and offices with nearly 100,000 employees who serve at more than 4,500 locations across the country and abroad. 
CHALLENGE
USDA needed to move their public facing websites to the cloud and to the Drupal content management platform. The site move provided an opportunity to improve the existing USDA.gov website structure and design. The existing site site housed old content, needed an improved user experience, information architecture, revised taxonomy and modern design.  
They needed...
  •  UX & Content Structures for Content Across the Agency
  •  A Site Experience That Increased Subscribers & Engagement
  •  A New Information Architecture and Taxonomy
  •  A Responsive, Mobile-friendly, Site
OUR CONTRIBUTION
Working closely with USDA and the prime vendor, WebFirst, we facilitated design thinking workshops with stakeholders from twelve different agencies to inform our design activities. During the workshops, we led persona creation, identified user experience issues and opportunities, discussed content, developed a new taxonomy and information architecture, and modeled potential user experiences. 

To achieve this, our workshops included educational primers on User Experience (UX), Taxonomy, Personas, and Goals. These primers set the groundwork for collaborative design thinking exercises to engage participants in group decision-making around the information architecture, taxonomy, content messaging, and the user experience of the USDA.gov website.
Our work included...
  •  Primers: To educate workshop participants and lay the foundation for our work together
  •  Design Thinking Workshops: To collaboratively define & design
  •  Content Analysis: Defining new content and retiring the old
  •  Taxonomy & Information Architecture Design: Based on stakeholder insights, content analysis, user vocabulary & agency needs
  •  User Experience Design: Focused on storytelling and primary actions users can take in each area of the site
We produced a 40+ page report of our findings to include details of the new taxonomy, information architecture, and responsive wireframes tied to audience needs. The main theme of the design focused on visually telling the story of how USDA positively impacts the lives of people across America. To achieve a sense of storytelling on the USDA site, we recommended embedding user-generated photos from various audience segments across the site. This approach brings the content to life on a personal level for site visitors and encourages user contributions and repeat visits. To improve content findability, the wireframes included the use of taxonomy terms to increase information scent and a mega menu to expose the new information architecture and promote featured content. Our work laid the foundation for design and development to begin.
OUTCOME
We continued on the project for an additional 6-months as advisors on the design and implementation. During this second phase, we developed additional wireframes, provided design guidance, and planned content migration activities. More than 30 responsive, 508-compliant, wireframes were created for USDA.gov. The new USDA.gov site launched successfully in April, 2017.
Need Something Like This?
Put design thinking and user testing at the forefront of your next project.
Where We Are Located
Raleigh, NC & Washington, DC
Copyright 2019, Predictive UX, LLC
Put design thinking and user testing at the forefront of your next project.
Where We Are Located
Raleigh, NC & Washington, DC
Copyright 2019, Predictive UX, LLC