As you may have already noticed, The National Archives web team is currently redesigning the website. We’re really starting to get to the meat and bones of the redesign and we’ve recently been exploring how people navigate around the site and trying to understand what helps them get where they want to (for example, menus, breadcrumbs). Although this may sound a little dull when thinking about web design as a whole, getting this right is fundamental to people’s experience on our website. In fact, it can lead to some really interesting insights into how people use websites.
We’ve adapted the Government Digital Service design model and we are now in the ‘alpha’ phase of the redesign project meaning that we are starting to gather feedback by showing users the early designs and using that feedback to make changes. This idea is that as we design we can evaluate and then iterate at many different stages throughout the alpha phase. Doing it this way helps us ensure that what we do is as usable as possible. It’s all part of a wider methodology of User Centred Design.