The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), chief governing authority on equestrian sport in the USA, wanted to mark the organization’s centennial anniversary with an ambitious redesign that encompassed responsive design, superior findability, and intuitive user tools.
CONTEXT & CHALLENGES
The existing site acted as a go-to resource for equestrian competitors seeking ranking and event information, but much of the most critical content was hampered by a counter-intuitive navigation design and a series of search options and sub-pages that required streamlining.
In addition to this requirement, the USEF wanted the new design to incorporate a video learning center for aspiring equestrians and enthusiasts, a simplified onboarding process for would-be members, and concise search tools that would users to query the site contextually and apply filters based on needs and interests.
Most importantly, the client needed to complete Phase I of the redesign within four months to meet the deadline for its centennial celebration.
All told, it was critical that the Omure team build a site that would provide robust, seamless tools for existing users; boost retention rates for membership rolls; and drive higher clickthrough for new and potential members.
As the team’s Senior UX Designer, I supervised one UX Researcher and collaborated with a team of 10 stakeholders to redesign and responsivize the USEF site over the course of a three-sprint agile development process. I also led several card-sorting exercises and performed heuristic and competitive analyses during the research and discovery phases.
Using Sketch and InVision, I built more than 150 annotated wireframes, a comprehensive sitemap, and two prototypes that included deep-linking navigation, responsive layouts, and robust content modules. I presented these designs and usability findings to client stakeholders and iterated the wireframes based on client needs before passing them on to the visual design team.
PROCESS & INSIGHTS
For the Research and Discovery phase of the process, I conducted card sorting exercises both on-site and remotely using the Optimal Sort service. I also extrapolated information architecture solutions from more than 25 user interviews.
The design phase of the agile development process took place over the course of 3 two-week sprints; following presentation of Omure’s findings, I iterated my designs and then annotated them based on client feedback. These iterations would then be submitted to Omure’s visual design team before making their way to USEF’s in-house development team.
For Sprint 1, it was imperative that we test our research findings regarding layout and navigation via a comprehensive usability test. Usability testing took place over the course of two days and incorporated a custom-built eye-tracking package to glean the best usability insights possible. You can find the prototypes I built for this test via the CTAs below:
While many of the metrics gauging the success of the redesign are still to come, the key client stakeholders gave the final design of the new site a standing ovation, complimenting its ease of use and its thorough execution. It represented one of the major highlights of USEF's 100-year celebration.