The Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (DES) website (des.wa.gov) provides centralized business services to state government agencies and to Washington residents. Customers come to the DES website to search for bid opportunities, find training, and public support services.
In 2011, DES merged with five other agencies and expanded their service offerings. The website did not mature with the agency and customers had difficulty understanding the breadth of services DES offers, and how to engage with them.
Hearing the frustration from customers, DES approached Anthro-Tech with an interest in redesigning its website to improve usability for diverse audience groups, better accomplish business objectives, give the site a more modern look and feel, and develop a future-forward strategy to help the agency stay current with customer needs.
The new mobile-friendly and accessible website ensures customers can easily find, understand, and use information. Based on research with multiple audience groups, we designed a new Information Architecture that surfaces the products and services DES offers in a global navigation.
We took a deep dive into the large amount of content from the merging of agencies. By plain talking content, clear calls-to-action were put in place that spell out how customers can engage with DES.
Our team applied new branding including a new voice and tone and visual design. This gives the DES website a visually cohesive brand that articulates the different services offered under one look and feel. The website now tells the story of their brand and the value it has for customers.
Phase 1 of the DES website launched and received much praise for its simplicity and ease of use. With the massive reduction in content, coupled with designing content in a way that makes sense for completing top tasks, customers are now able to find and understand the services DES offers.
With the ability self-serve, customers have control over their experience. This saves both the agency and the customers time and effort and increases the trust and satisfaction with DES.
“I have to say how impressed I am by the new DES look and feel. It is smart, sharp and to the point. People can find what they need and it also looks GREAT! We don’t have to sacrifice utility for a pretty package.”
- Top task workshop to understand DES customers’ goals, needs, and context of use
- Card sorts to discover customers’ mental models for DES content
- Tree test to evaluate a proposed new website structure, or Information Architecture
- Pre-launch website usability test to ensure a smooth launch and fix any remaining barriers to task completion
- Design strategy to support an agency-wide rebrand
- Low fidelity wireframes
- High fidelity mockups with accessibility considerations
- Support development implementation of design
- Voice and tone guidelines to inform navigation and content
- Content governance and formation of client content team
- Coach client team in auditing, styling, planning, and writing content
- Writing for the Web training
- Compliance with WCAG accessibility standards
- Prioritized list of accessibility issues for each work stream to address
- Advised the entire project team in implementing accessibility fixes
Facts & Figures
- 2,877 Customers participated in a user survey
- 273 Customers completed a card sort study
- 1,444 Customers completed a tree test
- 24 Customers participated in an unmoderated baseline usability study of the previous website
- 9 Customers participated in a moderated usability study of the new website prior to its launch
- 4.0/5.0 Score for an average ease/difficulty rating
- 84/100 System usability score for the new website. Average is 68/100.
For additional reading on the DES project: