Cambridge International Examinations





I helped this University of Cambridge-owned education business to redesign their website's navigation and get visitors to relevant information more quickly. I used quantitative data from tree testing and visitor analytics to design and validate the new information architecture.

Cambridge International Examinations (now Cambridge Assessment) is a University for Cambridge-owned business providing education programmes and exams to British schools worldwide. They came to us for help because they felt their navigation menus were not effectively guiding visitors to the right information, and asked us to redesign the information architecture to better serve user needs and business goals.

screenshot of Cambridge International Examinations website

What I did

Methodologies used

  • Information architecture
  • Usage analytics
  • Tree testing
  • Stakeholder workshops
  • Prototyping / wireframing

I started by evaluating the current site navigation using Google Analytics, then created a proposed new information architecture (IA) based on the results of this quantitative analysis, as well as previous qualitative research and analysis of key user needs and business goals.

I used tree-testing tool Treejack to measure how well this new IA performed. I tested the IA with 1771 participants worldwide across four key user types (teachers, principals, exams officers and parents). Each participant was given a randomised set of key user tasks; they were asked to click through the navigation options and locate particular pages or sections where they expected them to be. The tree-testing provided valuable insights, confirming some of our hypotheses while disproving others.

The most significant change I proposed was to remove the need for site visitors to self-identify as e.g. a teacher, principal, exam officer or parent. The analytics had shown that most visitors failed to do so, and were therefore unable to locate the information relevant to them. The proposed new AI removed the need for users to self-identify, and instead spread this information over other menus based on task or user need. The tree-testing confirmed that this approach would be much more effective in guiding visitors to the right information.

I made refinements to the initial proposed AI based on the outcome of the tree-testing, and then presented the new IA to key stakeholders at Cambridge, along with some visual mock-ups of additional navigational improvements, such as breadcrumbs and cross-links. The stakeholder workshop led to some further refinements to the IA, before the new navigation was implemented on Cambridge’s website


Before redesign: Users were required to self-identify as e.g. a teacher, principal or parent - but few did. screenshot of Cambridge International Examinations website


After redesign: Users no longer need to self-identify. Primary navigation is based more on key user tasks and business goals. screenshot of Cambridge International Examinations website

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