Over the last five years, I have worked with Avista to provide strategic guidance, research, and usability testing throughout the lifecycle of their website redesign effort.
Avista is an energy utility company serving four states in the Pacific Northwest, and based in Spokane, Washington. In 2012, Avista knew it was long overdue for a new online presence and wanted to be strategic in their efforts to create a new website and mobile experience for customers. In the very early stages of the project, Avista engaged my team at Sixth Man Marketing to provide strategic guidance and user testing throughout the lifecycle of their redesign effort.
Strategy & Research
The marketing team at Avista recognized that in order for their website redesign efforts to be successful, they needed to have a long-term plan that would drive internal corporate commitment to the project and solid research to guide the design process.
As the project began, I was engaged to:
- Conduct user testing on Avista’s existing website
- Research industry websites to analyze current trends and best practices
- Prepare a Case for Change and Strategic Planning documents
Website & Prototype User Testing
During Avista’s website and mobile redesign process, Sixth Man Marketing built working Axure prototypes and conducted user testing with actual Avista customers. This process allowed us to find out which aspects of the new designs were meeting users’ needs and which things needed to be changed or modified for further testing before programming began on the new sites.
Our task was to transform the information architecture of the website into a usable and understandable structure for users. The challenge was keep users from being overwhelmed and to help them find what they’re looking for without having to dig too deeply in the site. We conducted tree testing with Avista customers to determine the optimal structure and taxonomy for Avista’s new website and made navigation system recommendations that will support the new information architecture.
Avista completed and launched the new website in July of 2017. In the following months, my team completed another round of usability testing—desktop and mobile—to find out how the site performs and continue the ongoing process of making improvements to the site.
“Sixth Man Marketing has been an invaluable partner during the challenging process of redesigning our online presence. We rely on their expertise in the areas of usability and analytics to help us continually improve our customers’ online experience with Avista. We have learned a lot and working with their team has been and enjoyable and unique experience!”
– Kelly Conley, Manager, Web & Customer Communications, Avista Utilities