Mega Menu Rapid Prototyping & Testing
Mega Menu designs need extra testing
Neo Insight has extensive experience designing mega menus with public and corporate clients. We've shared our learning in previous articles about mega menu design and the big improvements in task success rates careful design and testing can deliver.
In March 2012, Neo Insight tested and co-designed several new Government of Canada mega menu sites. To quickly change the menus between tests, we developed a proprietary method of driving Web Experience Toolkit (WET) prototypes via Excel spreadsheets.Insights from the testing were shared with the Treasury Board team as they refine the new Usability Standard and associated WET templates.
Failing to design and test for the special nature of mega menus can result in decreased performance instead of improvements, as outlined in Nielsen's article below. To avoid these problems, we collect data from site visitors throughout the design process, as we work with the client team to select and structure menus of the site top tasks.
Process drives design with data, not opinion
We use a rapid prototyping process driven by Excel spreadsheets to design, test and implement mega menus.
Step 1: The first-cut of the spreadsheet is dropped into TreeJack. TreeJack is a quick online testing tool that gets your site visitors involved very early in the process, using menu labels to answer site top tasks. To benchmark, we compare the same tasks on the existing site information architecture.
Step 2: The TreeJack data is used to redesign the menu structure in the spreadsheet. This spreadsheet data is transformed into a working menus on a site prototype. The prototype front-ends the existing site for the first set of moderated live task-target sessions. These sessions provide insights into why people are making particular selections and provide an opportunity to test different solutions.
Step 3: The TreeJack study goes back online to test the new solutions from the first two steps. At the same time as that runs, a second set of live participants help the team do the final fine-tuning on an expanded set of tasks. By the end of the process, hundreds of site visitors will have participated and validated the mega menu design.
By the end of the 4 to 8 week process, your team will have a fully-tested working WET prototype of your site, and an Excel spreadsheet specifying the complete design of all of the menu labels, links and formatting, in all required languages.
You'll also have the data to engage management and content teams in the improvements the design delivers to your site's top task success rates. Mega menu structures can cascade into landing pages for the rest of the site, driving site usability success rates even higher.
Why Neo Insight?
We have years of documented mega menu experience, insights into different design approaches for mega menus, extensive experience with the new Government of Canada Standard for Web Usability, and a proprietary method developed to meet the special requirements for successful mega menu design for your site.
or call us at +1 (613) 271-3001
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