Planning for new information architecture of site rebuild

PRoblem: navigation misaligned with customer journey

Users were forced to sort through many links of information instead of being guided through the website. Despite each persona having a different customer journey, all loan product groups were being presented within the same framework, which resulted in frustration. Users were having to visit multiple sections of the website to find the information relevant to their search.

Previous navigation design


Content Audit

I began by reviewing and auditing all 93 pages of content that are currently on the website. I found that occasionally page headings did not match the navigation label, and in some cases the content of the page. I created a list of all of the pages and noted which ones I felt were unnecessary (duplicate content), which ones were too long and needed to be broken up into separate pages, and information gaps in the customer journey for each persona.

Tree Test

A tree test was used to validate the proposed navigation and information architecture. The key finding in this test was that users didn’t associate our current label of “Find a branch” with contacting a loan officer, but rather having to go to a brick and mortar location to talk to someone.


Open Card Sort

An open card sort was used to determine customers’ mental models as well as the terms they use to think of mortgage. The key finding in this test was that users categorized content according to the process of buying a home versus what kind of loan they were looking for. For example, there were several groupings of “Preparing to Buy a Home,” “Mortgage Process,” and “Financing.”


Customer Journeys

I developed customer journeys for First-Time Home Buyers, Next Home Buyers, Refinancers, and Renovators so that we could organize our content according to the specific mortgage process.

Competitive Analysis

I reviewed our top competitors’ navigation and architecture to make sure we’re in line with the industry but also serving our customers’ needs.


I used all of my research to create a new architecture based on the mortgage process for each customer journey, and a simple navigation that was simple and clear.