ORION Information Architecture & Site Design

An IA-driven redesign of the Ontario Research & Innovation Optical Network (ORION) website.


The Problem

Over time, the previous ORION website had become difficult to navigate as a user and difficult to manage as a content creator, with redundant content and conflicting navigation schemes. The ORION team also had a shortlist of content they wished to emphasize or promote on the site. We were instructed to redesign the information architecture and page designs for the site to resolve the identified problems and support the business goals of the organization.

How My Team and I Helped

Information Architecture & Content Strategy

We performed a comprehensive content audit of the site to determine areas where content was unnecessarily duplicated, as well as to understand better the type of information housed on the site. We then clustered content to define the user goals that could be satisfied by the available information. On the basis of a prioritization exercise with the client, we were able to define a site structure that reoriented content in accordance with the goals that were deemed important.

Interaction Design

After defining the revised IA, we classified pages by type, based on their shared requirements. Once we had adequately characterized the page types, we designed templates for each type. Perhaps more importantly, we also defined a set of data models for different classes of content, to prevent unnecessary duplication of effort and ensure that the various page templates would be flexible to accommodate ORION"s future growth.

 A screenshot of the completed website. The carousel at the top of the page is a good example of how our data models helped limit the workload in maintaining the site: while a carousel slide could be created manually, this was also defined as a possible manifestation of a number of different types of content across the site, allowing site managers to simply reference the content they wanted to promote.

A screenshot of the completed website. The carousel at the top of the page is a good example of how our data models helped limit the workload in maintaining the site: while a carousel slide could be created manually, this was also defined as a possible manifestation of a number of different types of content across the site, allowing site managers to simply reference the content they wanted to promote.