Simplify navigation to showcase the most important data upfront
GreatSchools is the leading national nonprofit empowering parents to unlock educational opportunities for their children. GreatSchools provides school information and parenting resources to help millions of American families choose the right school, support learning at home, and guide their children to great futures. We were tasked with a complete re-design of the most trafficed page on the site, which was the school profile page.
User research indicated that the school profiles had become difficult to navigate over several iterations and new feature additions. We were brought on board to solve several design issues.
All this had to be done without impacting the existing SEO numbers for the page.
We needed to dig deeper into the metrics and research to really understand the core user issues. We applied a holistic approach to examine the site. We audited the site, based on use case, users journeys to create a strategic road map to address those issues.
GreatSchools aggregates 80 data points to rank schools in a fair and balanced manner. Presenting that much information at one time would overwhelm users. The challenge was to present the easiest, most relevant data to users up front, then provide mechanisms for them to discover more and dig deeper on their own.
We tested various combinations of data presentation and discovery models.
Organized related metrics into groups and presented them as shelves that the user could quickly scan through.
Analyzed usage to understand the most highly used groups of metrics and the datapoints within that group.
Designed progressive disclosure so that the most important datapoints were presented up front, with the option for the user to dig deeper into the secondary or tertiary metrics.
Enhanced the visual treatment to keep the page clean, clear and digestable.
Designed the page ground up to be mobile optimized.
When users find interesting data points, they naturally want to dig deeper. It is important to present more information to the user within the context of the data they are looking at. We designed Pop-Hovers and Pop-Outs to reduce click paths and let the use focus on data.
User reviews play a key role in influencing a parent's perception about a school. School profiles with a large amount of higher quality reviews were proven to have more engagement. Beside auditing the review section, we looked closely at Foresee data to identify ways to enoucarage users to provide higher quality reviews.