Navigation and Information Architecture

Project Overview


External and internal users report experiencing confusion with our website navigation. There are increasing complaints about not being able to find content.


One Year
Nov 2020 -
Nov 2021


Visually separating our audiences and switching from RouteOne language to customer language enhanced the experience and likelihood that our customers will land on the page they're expecting the first time.


Project Lead and Designer - Me
Marketing Manager
Project Manager
Account Manager
Backend Developer
Frontend Developer
UX Consultant

Process and Deliverables Outline

Think, Make, Check is a UX process originally developed by Austin Knight and has been appropriated by me. Learn more about this process here
  • Sitemapping
  • User Research Survey
  • Card Sorting
  • Content Audit / ROT Analysis
  • Wireframes
  • Tree Test

Users and Needs

The primary audience for this website is dealers, specifically the Finance and Insurance (F&I) Manager at the dealership. They need to understand what value RouteOne can bring to their dealerships. They also need to be able to find and understand training material about our product.

my role

As the designer and project lead, I worked with in tandem with our external agency to perform stakeholder interviews, user research and final implementation.

What I did

  • Lead the vision and strategy
  • Project management
  • Sitemap
  • ROT analysis
  • Wireframes
  • Stakeholder and executive presentations
  • Developer (Agency) Handoff and QA

The Process

Content Audit and ROT Analysis

Pulling a report of all 400+ website pages, I rated each page as current content ready for migration or as Redundant, Outdated or Trivial (ROT).

I was also able to categorize each page by content goal, intended audience, language, and focus. This helped me to determine how pages were related to each other.

Card Sorting

We deployed a card sort prior to making any assumptions on our users behalf. After preparing the unmoderated, remote test using OptimalSort. We sent it out to 700 of our highly engaged customers. Unfortunately, after leaving it open for 3 weeks we only received 8 responses. These results were not enough to be considered statistically significant and these results did not impact our overall approach to our menu design.

Key Lesson Learned
We may need to incentivize our customers if we hope gather meaningful feedback.


I created some sitemaps to understand which pages we would be building, as this is a live embed of my Whimsical sitemap. This is the final version and includes pages that we decided to delete.

Tree Test

Tree testing helps you evaluate the findability of topics on your website. It is an information architecture validation test to determine if the content is available where your customers expect it to be.

This test was incentivized and completed by 79 users, who took an average of 5:27 to complete the eight tasks. 51 Customers and 28 staff respondents.



I wrote the following questions for the test. These questions were designed to mimic key scenarios that our customers might face.

Questions Asked for Test

Key Findings

Staff and Customers not aligned
When staff are eliminated, the success rates across the board drop dramatically. The staff understands, customers don’t.

External users expect navigation to be subject/action/topic based, rather than audience-based.

This is most starkly reflected in answers where navigation elements are interpreted as subject areas (e.g. “finance solutions” and “provider solutions” for credit).

Users do not understand what Connection Hub is due to the vagueness of the term

Solutions, Resources, Support, and Connections Hub as navigational elements are too similar and don’t provide enough of an information “scent.”

Examples of Results

Where would you go to learn about RouteOne’s tablet based menu presentation tool?
Answer: (Dealer Solutions > Menu Tools > Tablet Menu)

Where do you go to find finance sources that support eContracting?

  • Dealer Solutions: 27 per cent first; 39 per cent during
  • Finance Source Solutions: 52 per cent first; 61 per cent during
  • Provider Solutions: 5 per cent first; 15 per cent during
Treetest graph

Key Problems Identified

Navigation wireframe

Revisions based on research

Navigation wireframe

Key Lessons Learned

A key lesson I learned here is how difficult it can be to recruit users for research. We tried to just ask them initially to help us improve the product for them, however this proved to be an ineffective tactic. What ended up being more useful was to incentivize our users to give us feedback. This dramatically increased the response rate and gave us valuable insights to help guide our approach.