What's The Problem?

I turned to Fullstory, a digital experience analytics platform, to identify users' pain points within the existing knowledge base.

There was a prevalence of rage clicks in the sidebar, especially on section titles and on locked content.

Above: Karen, a confused user, rage clicks on sidebar content.

No Search Functionality

There were hundreds of resources and no way to search. Content could only be discovered by browsing the sidebar.

Inconsistent IA

Categories in the sidebar navigation menu ranged from program track ("Software Engineering") to curriculum ("Winter Curriculum") to job stage ("Profile").

Time-Consuming Navigation

Software Engineering resources outnumbered the other track's resources by 20:1. Non-SWE users had to scroll to the very bottom to access their track-specific resources.

Insufficient Context

When new users clicked on "My Resources," they saw a blank page with no context. When they clicked on locked content, nothing happened. Many users bounced, assuming these pages were broken.

Above: Danny, a card sort participant, names the categories he's created.

Card Sorting, With Constraints

Card sorting software wasn't in the budget for our lean startup. I invented a free workaround using Asana that enabled our team to gain valuable feedback on how to change our information architecture.

Regardless of industry track, users most commonly grouped content based on stages in the job search (applying, interviewing, etc.)

Designing the Familiar

The Pathrise knowledge base needed to be able to handle a variety of content, from workshop recordings to coding challenge solutions. I examined a variety of comparative experiences: news aggregators, technical support sites, and online learning platforms.

Apple News grid of articles

Above: An Apple News grid view. Left alignment and white space around informational text makes this format highly scannable.

TL;DR: Users were confused by our existing navigation structure. They wanted to browse content by job search stage.

Next: DesignSkip to the Results

Pathrise Resources Redesign

by Imani Joy