The ACFE is a membership organization for anti-fraud professionals that offers a credential (the CFE), conducts training events such as seminars and conferences, publishes research and reports, and more. The main goal of the ACFE is to support anti-fraud professionals in their careers so they can effectively deter, detect and prevent fraud.
The ACFE website is a classic case of not considering the user. It has fallen victim to years of severe technical debt, disorganization, and a lack of processes. Since the moment I started at this job, I've been champing at the bit to reimagine, redesign, and rebuild the website. In general, the bar for association websites is pretty low, which is all the more reason I want to blow it out of the water.
“[The ACFE website] is like your grandma's house. Everything is there, it's just old and you can't find anything.” — Bernadette, focus group participant
As we wait for a semi-unrelated technical integration project to complete (hopefully early-mid 2019), we are conducting user research and going through UX and product design processes in preparation for the build. My roles in this project are UX designer, design technologist, product designer, and soon-to-be visual designer. I've been conducting focus groups, leading internal ideation workshops, assisting with creation of surveys and other user-feedback tools, creating user flows, mocking up and prototyping, and managing technical constraints and considerations.
Throughout all our research so far, we've found that navigation and organization are the biggest hinderances to users accomplishing their goals when visiting the site. The site isn't organized intuitively or tailored to the needs of our users. The current site requires users to click a top-level nav item before seeing what sub-categories it contains. The most basic, important questions about who we are, what we do, who our members are, what we provide, etc. are not answered upfront.
To ensure we are creating an intuitive organization of information, we asked users to complete various activities that helped us get an insight into how they think and whether or not we were on the right track. We've found many inconsistencies with what the site currently does vs. what our users think. For example, currently on the site, Membership & Certification are grouped together as a top-level nav item, but we've found that users are much more interested in finding Certification information than Membership. Also "Certification" is more of an internal word (the name of the department), and when users are coming to our site to learn more, they are more likely to think "Credential" or "CFE."
Before, during, and after research, I've been changing and refining the IA through various methods.
A mega menu or "super nav" would allow users to hover on a top-level nav item and see what it contains before clicking through. This is a popular UI pattern and for good reason. To address the Membership & Certification findings specifically, I have separated Membership and Certification, and renamed Certification to "CFE Credential."
Once the new site is built, we plan to gauge success and effectiveness of the navigation via Google Analytics and metrics from the Member Services Representatives team (e.g. lower rate of calls about not being able to find something on the website).
The ACFE has a large audience that spans many industries. Anti-fraud professional could mean an accountant or a risk compliance officer or an auditor, etc. We learned through focus groups and surveys that our users want to use our website to find resources that are relevant to them. Currently, the site is organized by format/medium and less so by topic.
“I don’t care about internal auditing but I care about stuff in the insurance world. Trends, topics, other issues. If it was easy for me to go click on my industry, I’d browse those topics. Any medium could be good.” — Survey response
Robust filtering and/or sorting capabilities would allow the user to customize their experience. Serving up content that is relevant to them is likely to increase engagement and revenue.
We plan to gauge success and effectiveness of filters through attendance numbers and surveys.
Events are one of the ACFE's biggest sources of revenue and largely what they're known for. The current events calendar is not a user-friendly experience, nor is registering for an event. The UI is so inconsistent, it's problematic for the user.
I'm currently working on the user flow and screen wireframes for this user journey.
We plan to gauge success and effectiveness of a more cohesive UX/UI with metrics from the Member Services representative team (e.g. less calls requiring assistance to register for an event) and attendance numbers.