I wrote in January about the work we're doing for Imperial College Research Support. Research Support serves academics and administrative staff as they pursue research funding and manage ongoing research projects. They came to us because people found their site difficult to navigate, and they wanted to streamline the user experience. As part of that effort we conducted a Carewords survey to get a better idea of what people are looking for when they come to the site. Read on for the results of the survey.
The main users of the site are academics and administrative/support staff. Many of the terms you'll see in the Carewords list will be unfamiliar unless you're involved in higher education and research in the UK.
Here is a screenshot of the words used in the survey:
Survey participants picked the top 10 things they would look for on the site and ranked them from highest to lowest. We gave each term a score ranging from 10 to 1 based this ranking and totaled the results for all participants. See the raw results from Imperial College London's Carewords survey.
Many of these words and phrases are either synonyms or describe similar things. For example, "Full Economic Costing (FEC)" and "Calculating Direct Costs" are both related to figuring out all of the costs related to conducting a research project. We pulled the survey results into Omni Outliner and grouped related terms together to see what trends emerged. See our analysis of Imperial College London's Carewords survey.
The analysis helped us see both 1) what broad goals people have when they come to the site and 2) which words and phrases lead people to those goals.
The main goals that emerged from the Carewords analysis are:
- Costing and pricing research proposals (also known as Full Economic Costing)
- Preparing a proposal (this is a broader goal which includes #1 above)
- Calls of funding (finding research funding opportunities)
- Managing projects/grants/awards
- Contact research support staff
- Appointment and recruitment of staff
- Contract negotiation and authorisation
- Support for research applications
- College and Faculty research strategy
This data helped us to prioritize and organize the content from the current site and develop a new architecture during our on-site planning sessions in mid-January. Next I'll write about how we worked with Imperial to go from raw data to wireframes and user testing in 2 1/2 days! Yes, it was insane—but fun.