UX Research

Case Study
ICAway Website Redesign 


ICAway (International Career Advisory, Inc.) is an education consultancy that helps immigrants and international students land jobs globally. I led its website redesign project’s UX research.  

In 10 weeks, I achieved the following:

  • Revised the marketing funnel that improved the company’s content strategy 
  • Revised site content for easier understanding
  • Built a new information architecture (IA) that improved web navigation
  • Created a 1-page prototype as a design protocol

My Role

UX Researcher


Analytics Review,
1-on-1 Interviews,
Persona Development,
User Journey Mapping,
Card Sorting,
Tree Testing


Project Lead: CEO
UX Research: Me
Analytics: Sourish
Content Management: CEO, Elizabeth, Me
Design: Contract Web Developer

The Problem

Messy Information; Unclear Navigation

The current website does not have a good logical structure, making it difficult for site visitors to navigate around the website to find information they need within 10 seconds.

Low Conversion Rate; High Bounce Rate

Site visitors will hop off when they cannot find the information they need. According to the current website’s Google Analytics, click-through rates and newsletter subscription rate are low, and bounce rate for several pages are high.

The Goal

1. Improve website navigation for smoother user experience

2. Redefine the website’s position among all digital communication channels

The Approach

Phase 1: Exploring

Analytics and Survey Reviews

What I did: Analyzed 3 existing surveys on web content, Wix Analytics, and Google Analytics with the analytics intern

Why I did this: To narrow down the common and major pain points through evaluating quantitative data of the current website usage

Insights + Recommendations:

  • Organic search’s conversion to sales ranks highest.
    Content design team should get to know keywords that potentials site visitors use and include them in web content and titles.
  • There is still a significant amount of site visitors aged 35+ and fall into the “Jobs & Education/ College & Universities” category
    → Include secondary persona that works in higher education careers services 

In-depth Interviews

What I did: Conducted 1:1 interviews with the CEO and 2 site visitors

Why I did this:

  • To understand business goals and objectives from the founder/CEO’s perspective
  • To identify site visitors’ needs and pain points

Insights + Recommendations: 

  • Site visitors actively avoid recruiting consultancy or job agent
    → Prioritize a disclaimer or a clear explanation of what the company is about on the home page
  • First-time site visitors seek free resources with credibility
    → Optimize content marketing; Use the website as a pull rather than a push
    → Incentivize site visitors to subscribe to the newsletter; Build a long-term relationship to drive sales
  • Conversion to program enrollment after a 15-min individual consultation call is 70%
    → Site visitors prefer a customized service and build trust upon a 1:1 chat.
    → Information and prompts for consultation calls should be prioritized


Phase 2: Defining Users

Persona Development

What I did:

  • Synthesized the insights from the analytics reviews and 1:1 interviews
  • Developed 2 primary + 3 secondary personas with unique goals and pain points based on occupation, education level, work experience, visa status, etc.

Why I did this:

  • To identify primary and secondary target consumers
  • To empathize with target consumers and map a journey/experience that caters to their needs


    User Journey Mapping

    What I did: Developed 4 user journey maps with details on what each persona would see, feel, do, and question at each touchpoint

    Why I did this:

    • To imagine the challenges and doubts any customer may face
    • To identify opportunities for engagement at each potential touchpoint and specifically what content or questions need to be addressed on the website

    Insights + Recommendations:

    • Job seekers use LinkedIn extensively for networking and job search
      → Strategize content across channels; Increase LinkedIn engagement
    • First-time visitors would question what the company is about and its credibility
      → “What ICAway does and how we serve you” should be upfront on the homepage instead of on “About” page
    • Secondary persona may doubt if the service is for them
      → Make use of resources (blog/case study) to show a diverse customer base and use case


    Phase 3: Identifying Solutions

    Content Management

    What we did: The CEO, the content writer, and I went through all the content in the old website and decide what to keep, drop, or add

    Why we did this: To reorganize all the content systematically and improve the content design

    Card Sorting

    What I did:

    • Selected 6 participants that match with the personas
    • Conducted 6 individual card sorting sessions via Miro and Zoom

    Why I did this:

    • To ensure website content is grouped in categories that make sense to our users and labels are named appropriately

    Insights + Recommendations:

    • Existing program names are very difficult to comprehend for first-time visitors
      → Renaming primary menu — “For Job Seekers”
    • Testimonials are difficult to sort, but are much needed for program credibility
      → Include 2-3 short testimonials on different pages
      → Create a separate page for testimonials and visitors can choose to browse it or not

    Tree Testing

    What I did: 

    • Proposed a new IA
    • Set up a tree testing exercise via Optimal Workshop’s treejack
    • Invited 15 participants that cover all personas to complete the tree testing exercise
    • Met with 7 participants virtually to ask follow-up questions right away

    Why I did this:

    • To evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed IA

    Insights + Recommendations:

    • Include simple words to make page titles more intuitive
      • “Events” → “Upcoming Events”
      • “University Partners” → “For University Partners”
    •  Participants weighed the importance of each page according to their needs
      → Rearrange page sequence of the final IA

    The Outcomes & Impacts

    Clear and Concise Content

    Site content was edited and reorganized for easier access and understanding. Improved content design is expected to improve user experience, increase retention rate, and reduce bounce rate.

    New Infrastructure Architecture

    I created a new IA so that internal teams can communicate without misunderstanding. It also helped the external website developers understand how content is organized and distributed easily.

    The new website is expected to be launched in March 2021. 
    Next steps?

    • Track conversion rate
    • Track homepage’s and program page’s bounce rates
    • Install eye-tracking tool
    • Plan future usability testing for smoother navigation

    Revised Marketing Funnel

    The revised marketing funnel enabled the marketing team to strategize content and use different communication channels more effectively.
    In 2 months, LinkedIn engagement has increased by 60%.

    After the website is launched, I’d track if there’s an increase in website traffic, newsletter sign-ups, and program enrollment.

    Simple and Clean Design Prototype

    I created a one-page website prototype for reference as external website developers were hired to build the new website. This helped benchmark the key design direction and elements.

    The Challenges

    1. Limited Time and Resources

    How I Overcame That:

    • Used Miro as a co-creation tool for card sorting
    • Used Optimal Workshop’s tree testing tool, which limited to 3 tasks only and no follow-up questions in the survey. But I combined it with a LIVE interview to ask follow-up questions right away.

    What I would have done differently if I had more time and resources:

    • Recruit more participants (at least 15) for card sorting exercise
    • Provide incentives to reach the participants who were not our current users
    • Pay for online user testing tools for card sorting and tree testing in order to efficiently collect more responses

    2. Diverse Opinions from Limited Participants

    How I Overcame That:

    • Asked follow-up questions effectively to understand why participants think or react in a certain way, instead of taking the inputs directly
    • Evaluated each feedback carefully and aligned both business and user goals

    Lessons Learned

    1. Understanding the business goals and user needs is crucial

    Hopping on to a website redesign project could be challenging when you don’t know the business well. Talking to the CEO and multiple stakeholders allowed me to gain insights into what they truly need. This stage significantly defines how the user experience and content strategy will be shaped.

    2. Not all user feedback needs to be adopted

    The card sorting activity showed me how participants can have VERY DIVERSE opinions, especially when there are no right or wrong answers. Keep in mind that the activity is to understand why participants think or react in a certain way, rather than taking in all the feedback. Evaluate the feedback afterward and take what truly makes sense.

    3. Be creative with UX research tools

    Working with a small business that doesn’t have a lot of spare budget for user experience research means you need to be extra creative and resourceful when it comes to using testing tools. Using Miro for card sorting, and combining the 3 limited tree testing tasks on Optimal Workshop with a LIVE interview cost me nothing to get me the results that I need.

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