To serve the best possible experience to these two distinct target audiences, the Natus team reviewed and scored similar industry websites. The highest ranked pages displayed a strong high-tech sensibility, were easy to scan, had a clear navigation path, and provided quick access to product support.
Natus' business goals
The various Natus platforms weren’t optimized to address the large range of audiences that each business unit serves. Since each business unit had its own nuanced definition of a conversion, FFW asked each unit to rank those conversion initiatives from most to least important.
Armed with information, the FFW team used the audience research from earlier in the workshop to map user paths to help each business unit’s audiences achieve those conversions.
Implementing a solution
FFW began by constructing wireframes and style tiles to help the Natus stakeholders visualize the new platform and offer feedback. In-browser prototypes demonstrated exactly how the new website would look and behave, down to the micro-interactions, hover states, and animation effects on design elements.
An atomic design
To allow the different business units to have control over their branding and layouts while still adhering to the wider Natus standards, FFW created a component-based design. Each business unit uses the same library of components and templates, but is able to adjust attributes like color and layout.
The pattern library has a twofold benefit: First, it allows each business unit control over its individual sub-site and layout. Components can be moved, modified, and optimized to encourage acquisition, retention, and provide better customer service, while still drawing only on the existing codebase and adhering to Natus’ established visual standards. Second, the pattern library also streamlines the codebase for all of the sites, reducing technical debt and cost of ownership.
A refined information architecture
A convoluted user experience creates the wrong impression. A website that is difficult to navigate suggests that a company is equally difficult to work with. In many instances, the existing architecture of the Natus sites assumed that users were familiar with the Natus naming and product structure, which made products difficult to locate.
Using information on Natus’ audiences, their behavior, and their preferences, FFW refined Natus’ information architecture to make information easy to find. FFW evaluated Natus’ existing content, scored it for usefulness, relevance, and lifespan, and only the pages that FFW and Natus deemed to be valuable were migrated to the new site.
A large portion of content that was migrated included training materials. Natus had developed a deep catalog of training materials. Providing easy access to these educational resources was an important part of the overall strategy to solidify Natus’ position as a thought leader, and is essential to drive future revenue growth.
Beyond simply bringing clarity to Natus’ end users, having a streamlined information architecture provided the added benefit of creating a rubric through which all future companies and products can be assimilated. Knowing where a product or service lives within a multi-vertical business provides clarity throughout the organization while simultaneously enhancing SEO.