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'The Ugly Truth'

by Tracey Brown, director of Sense About Science

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August 2013

Thank you to everyone who took our website survey

Earlier this month I sent a newsletter to supporters with a survey about our website. We need to improve it – the way it looks, the way things are organised – and I felt that the first step should be to ask the people who use it most what they think of it.

The work we do is varied. Thousands of people come to our site for many different reasons, to look for information, for help understanding scientific claims and of course our website is the way many people get involved in our campaigns, from changing libel laws, to the protection of independent scientific advice and getting all clinical trials registered and reported. Developing a website that’s easy for everyone to use has always been a challenge.

And the survey results reflected that: people felt that the homepage is too cluttered and that menus aren’t logical and simply have too many branches.

While asking people to find fairly prominent pages on the site was hard enough, finding less prominent pages became a quixotic adventure from which few returned victorious. But thanks to all that effort, we’ve learnt a huge amount.

Two things are happening next.

For a start, we’re going to radically simplify the homepage, getting rid of redundant information and replacing the ‘big blue box’ with something more useful.

Secondly, we’re taking all the information from the survey user journeys and using it as the basis to reorganise where things are placed in our menu system. We want to un-nest hidden pages and get rid of confusing categories.

As our Ask for Evidence campaign grows and spreads across other countries, it is especially urgent to get our site in order. So thanks again to everyone who took part in the survey.  It was invaluable for us and hopefully you’ll see the fruits of your labour soon.

And if you’re not on our newsletter list but would like to be kept up to date with all the things we’re up to, you can sign-up here.