Skype - case study
Skype is software that enables the world's conversations. Millions of individuals and businesses use Skype to make free video and voice calls, send instant messages and share files with other Skype Customers. Everyday, people also use Skype to make low-cost calls to landlines and mobiles.
Skype came to us with a Request for Proposal (RFP) to conduct user research in July 2010 in order to help the user research team with some insights on how to redefine and inform the existing information architecture on the Skype support website located at https://support.skype.com/.
Challenge to meet
We were asked to gather practical insights during user interviews that would inform the taxonomy and information architecture of the Skype support section of the site. We needed to understand the user's mental model of support content and encourage discussions around cross-listing content. We also needed to explore classifications and groupings of content for the support site with key user groups.
Benefits and outcomes
We identified suggestions and improvements to the site information architecture and taxonomy, based on input from the research, that fed directly back into the Skype user experience team, working on the wireframing and site planning. We also suggested some additional ways of presenting information based on the user's background and experience on the main landing page and in addition to the existing structure.
What we did
We analysed the existing structure as well as the findings from the content audit and field research conducted by the Skype user experience team, and then used this information to establish categories and headings to inform items to be used in card sorting sessions.
How this was achieved
We suggested a testing approach using card sorting to help define and validate the information architecture.
Open card sorting
We recruited 32 customers, with a mixture of those using the free and paid service, for open card sorting sessions. Customers were gathered into groups of 4, facilitated by a moderator, with candidates using the open card sorting methodology and each session lasting just over an hour.
The customers were then asked to group questions selected from the current support database and the results and cluster analysis were then reviewed to correlate the findings across all groups and filter any differences according to groups.
Closed card sorting
We ran an online closed card sort and invited a different set of 32 users to take part with an email invite and survey. The proposed structure was verified with current and prospective customers and the findings were combined into the final report.
Support site question groupings