Restructured Information Architecture
Eric MinorVictor Popow
Only 4 main level categories – this leads to a vertical information hierarchy so users are forced to click down further to find what they need
Here is the current top navigation
Competitive Differentiation – Crate & Barrel is the only company among it’s competition that offers High End Furniture and Appliances
Step 1: Brand Research
Market Survey – We surveyed 30 people to find out what THEY are saying
Market Survey – Here’s a word cloud of what people think when they hear the name Crate & Barrel
Market Survey – This is what the market is saying about their competition
Market Survey – Takeaway Crate & Barrel’s Brand is Clean, Modern and Trendy. The competition’s Brands are Stuffy, Overwhelming, Hectic, and Pricey.
Location Scouting – The Crate & Barrel stores reinforce their brand
Location Scouting – A diagram of the Towson Crate & Barrel store layout
To capitalize on their existing brand, we propose revising the existing IA to mimic their store layout. We want to replace the current 4 top level categories with the rooms in the house.
Step 2: Hypothesis
Proposed Redesign – A horizontal IA structure for the proposed top navigation
Cardsorting Exercises – Highlighted in blue are labels that were always paired, the numbers outside of the blue were often miscategorized
Step 3: Testing
Shown on the left is the current IA. Notice the amount of numbers outside of the blue, a total of 59 labels.
Shown on the right is our proposed IA. Notice how sparse these numbers are, a total of 26. That’s a 45% drop from the current design, a significant improvement.
Personas – We created two personas and ran them through a task
Megan is looking for an office desk, with the current IA, it will take four actions from the home page.
With our new proposed IA, Megan can find her desk in two actions, a huge improvement
Paul is a tech savvy interior designer who heard about Crate & Barrel’s Room Designer App and wants to learn more about it
Paul browses all over the top and bottom nav but can’t find the App, so he decides to perform a search
Unfortunately, Paul can’t find it so he gives up his search. With our proposed IA, the Design App is easily found in the main navigation under designer resources.
Crate & Barrel’s physical store layouts are well designed for flow of traffic, this should be mimicked on their website.
Our proposed redesign of the IA proved effective in cardsorting tests and persona process flows.
Crate & Barrel has a strong brand and clear competitive differentiation that should be better represented online.