USDA Government Website Redesign

We were tasked with redesigning a government website, the USDA, given their confusing navigation and indirect accessibility to the the site's most visited pages.

Rena Silverman - UX Writer, Designer
Bianca Drevensek - UX/UI Designer
Lorie Saria-Huertas - UX Designer, Researcher




The FoodData Central Page -- the most visited page according to analytics--is not accessible through the homepage of As you can see below, it takes 6 pages to get there! 

User Flow

We knew we had to redesign the site so there were less steps to get to the most visited page. 




Research Plan

At the time of this project, Food Data Central was the top page visited by internet users on the USDA website; therefore, we wanted to understand how users navigate towards that page, as well as food recalls, which were also high up on the list. 

We aimed to identify usability issues on the following 2 tasks:

  1. Navigate to FoodData Central from the homepage

  2. Navigate to the list of food recalls from the homepage



testing flows.png

Testing Flows

We wanted to see the paths users took to get to the most visited page (FoodDataCentral).


Usability Matrix

The most crucial areas for us to work on were

1. Clear search boxes and

2. excavating important items from a deep and overburdened navigation



After spending several seconds on the homepage, almost all users ended up searching for “FoodData Central” in the search bar. The proper way to get to the FoodData Central from the site is Our Agency>Agencies>Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Research>Databases and Datasets> Human Nutrition > FoodData Central > Website Pointer for FoodData Central but 0/5 of our users figured it out.



User Persona

Gia Amato is a 34-year-old single mom of one who dislikes rap music, laundry, and single-use plastic, but loves food, friends, and creativity.

Mood Board



Top Navigation Analysis

Side Bar Navigation Analysis

Bottom Navigation Analysis



We tested the navigation on four users: three women and one man, ages 27- 45.

We Asked:

1. What do you expect to find?
2. Who do you think this is meant for?
3. When you scroll down, how do you feel about the navigation both on the side and on the top?
4. And then we asked them to explore.


Card Sort

We used card sorting, a technique in user experience design in which a person tests users to generate folksonomy.

Utilities Menu


Footer Updates


Sitemap Redesign

Link to full sitemap here



Link to full wireframes here and here.

Wireframe A

Wireframe B


More Testing

We conducted A/B usability testing using wireframes we created in Sketch and InVision.

Link to full wireframes here and here.

Users Tested

We asked users to navigate:

  1. Topics

  2. Category 1

  3. Subcategory 1


We found that Wireframe A was slightly faster to navigate than Wireframe B. Wireframe A took testers approximately 4 seconds, while B took 5 seconds.




Style Tile


Homepage Redesign

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©2020 by Rena Silverman.