Takeaways from Usability Testing for a Hospital Intranet

August 06, 2022

We were recently tasked with performing usability testing on the navigation for an intranet for a major hospital / health system. Below are some key takeaways.

Test Setup

  • 15 total tasks
  • Two test groups, A/B tested with variations between the two information architectures
  • 40 total participants
  • Used Optimal Workshop’s “Treejack” platform for menu testing

Participant Roles

bar chart of participant roles for a test

Sampling of Usability Test Questions

You are looking for contact information for a colleague who works at another campus. Where would you find this information?

Path A: Home > Who We Are > Contact Directories > Employee Directory
Path B: Home > About Us > Contact Directories > Employee Phonebook

  • Success Rate: 50%
  • First click in both tests was the “Tools & Apps” menu item
  • Our recommendation: add a link to the employee directory to the “Tools & Apps” menu

You’ve been feeling low for a week or two straight and feel like you might need some support. Where would you go to find information on what services are offered to help with personal or emotional challenges?

Path: Home > Human Resources > Health Benefits > Mental Health

bar chart of mental health benefit results
  • Success Rate: 65%
  • Almost half the participants in both tests clicked “Support Services” for this task, which is not where this information is found.
  • 90% of Test A participants clicked on Human Resources
  • 76% of Test B participants clicked on “Working at the Hospital”
  • Test results suggest that some participants did not know mental health services is an offering available to them at all
  • Our recommendation: change “Support Services” label to something less likely to lead to confusion, e.g. “Departments & Services”
  • Our recommendation: consider adding a link to this content under “Working at the Hospital”

You are planning to retire from the hospital and want to know more information about the process. Where would you look?

Path A: Home > Human Resources > Pay & Financial Benefits > Retirement
Path B: Home > Working at the Hospital > Pay & Financial Benefits > Retirement

bar chart question about retirement

Your computer mouse is acting up and you think you need a new one. Where would you look for help?

Path: Home > Support Services > IT

bar chart for computer mouse/IT question
  • Success rate: 85%
  • Overall, a very successful test
  • Our recommendation: re-run this test after changing “Support Services” to “Departments & Services” to ensure success rate remains


The questions above are only a small sampling of the scenarios we created for the usability test. Ultimately, we made a number of recommendations for the primary navigation, home and landing pages, and the UX design of the intranet.

The re-launch of the intranet was a resounding success that allowed the hospital to consolidate their internal resources into a finely-tuned intranet, rather than a series of spreadsheets, sharepoint documents, and word documents.