The lesser
the better

Hessen Forst | Information Architecture | UI

HessenForst offers a wide variety of services connected to all kind of forestry topics. They have a wide variety of services including educational events, trainings, hunting, sales of wood and real estate or activities around the forest. Displaying all of these different topics in one homepage in an easy and intuitiv manner was the biggest challenge in this project.

Our Contributions

01/
User Research

02/
Information Architecture

03/
Wireframes

04/
UI

Desktop view

The Problem

When first approaching the project, we found out that the core problem was the chaos in the structure of the information. The structure was quite old and was not adapted to the user’s behaviour (it was not built taking their needs into consideration).  In addition, text hierarchy was not well defined and as a result, the information was difficult to locate. It’s a fact that nowadays, users are too busy to spend loads of time reading the information on a website. This is why it was important to define the logical amount of texts for each section.

Goals

01/
Reduce & cluster content.

02/
Define a clear information hierarchy.

03/
Create a modern & intuitive design.

The Approach

We decided to do research to understand the user. From the outcome of the workshops, we discovered different target groups of people who had different specific needs. After this, we decided to solve the structure of the website based on this key information. To do this, we had to define the criteria. Only the relevant information was kept and the doubled content was merged. Furthermore, based on the fact that users were not able to find the information, we decided to add a search function. On the other hand, the staff needed to have a very easy way to maintain content. With over 41 different departments and people from various skill levels involved in the content creation, we needed to build a backend that allows them to put in information about news and events intuitively and creates a consistent brand image to the outside.

Decisions were always based on the outcome of the workshops. After each phase of design,
we did user testing to ensure that we were going in the right way.

The Outcome

Decisions were always based on the outcome of the workshops. After each phase of design, we did user testing to ensure that we were going in the right direction. Testing is the tool we use to justify our steps and provide answers any time there is a concern. At the end of the project, we completely redefined the page structure, reducing the information overload of around 250 pages to 52. Further, we created a UI that fitted the brand while also communicating progress and fitting responsive web design. Through the use of templates for the different content types, we ensured that the diverse number of content creators can fulfil their goals seamlessly.

01/
Reduced the content from 250 to 52 pages.

02/
Enabled the creation and management of events.

03/
Digitalized online sign-ups for training.

04/
Created an intuitiv admin panel for different user groups.

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