Mobile-friendly web makeover boosts user experience

Wednesday, 09 December, 2015 | Supplied by: AMES Australia


A complete website revamp has improved usability, traffic and overall user experience for clients of humanitarian organisation AMES Australia.

New migrants in Australia have more access to affordable mobile phones than ever before. AMES Australia, with the help of user research and digital design agency Yump, has transformed its online presence by embracing a simpler, cleaner and more user-friendly website aimed at this increasingly mobile audience.

While there are an estimated 59.5 million refugees and displaced people in the world (according to the UNHCR), in 2014 Australia accepted 11,750 resettled refugees through offshore resettlement programs and recognised 2780 asylum seekers as refugees. In response to the worsening war and conflict in Syria, former prime minister Tony Abbott announced in September that Australia would accept an extra 12,000 refugees in addition to the federal government's current policy.

Arriving in Australia, new refugees and migrants will need help to assimilate in the new environment, by learning English, gaining workplace skills and settling in communities, so they can participate and contribute to our multicultural society.

This is where AMES Australia comes in. For 60 years AMES has helped new and recently arrived refugees and migrants, by providing humanitarian settlement, education, training and employment services. More than just teaching English, AMES works with the community, businesses and government to develop sustainable and effective settlement solutions for communities in Victoria and New South Wales.

Although the AMES Australia website was regularly used by more than 15,000 unique visitors a month over the last few years, there was declining engagement and poor feedback from visitors using mobile devices. The challenge was to identify where the issues were and uncover user insights that would pave the way for a new mobile-friendly design.

Starting with a comprehensive research process comprising a site analytics audit, an online survey and internal stakeholders workshops, the team at Yump identified key user priorities by combining insights gathered from both quantitative and qualitative analysis. This led to a reorganised website architecture and a redesign of the website interface.

As a result, more than half of the existing buttons and links on the homepage, which were used by less than 2% of visitors, were removed or reduced, and highly visited sections such as 'Find AMES near me' were prioritised and made easier to access. This means visitors, especially those who are on the move, can get to their most desired information more quickly without getting lost in the clutter.

In the few months since the revamped AMES Australia website was launched, visitor traffic drop-off from the homepage has reduced by 17% and stakeholder feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. However, the work doesn't stop here. Mobile optimisation is merely a small step in the organisation's long-term digital transformation strategy. AMES Australia will continue working with Yump to identify ongoing usability issues and improve its online presence and delivery of services.

Online: www.ames.net.au
Phone: 03 9938 4000
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