A federation of over 700 state and local networks with 140,000 members, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is one of the largest, most expansive trade associations in the country. Founded in 1942, NAHB has a rich history in creating housing opportunities for all, while also providing craftsmen, builders, and innovators with the tools for professional advancement and for the development of thriving communities.
Like most national trade associations, NAHB’s value is deeply rooted in the educational and professional resources they provide members. Those resources include thousands of pieces of content, goods, and services on their website. Since these collections of information lacked a thoughtful structure, NAHB’s greatest design and functionality hurdle in building a new website was findability. Members had a tough time finding the most relevant and useful information. NAHB asked us to help them find a way to surface this content effectively. They also challenged us to enhance their website’s information architecture, navigation, search, and Ecommerce offerings to create a more productive and intuitive browsing experience.
NAHB's challenges included:
- Streamlining the ways members explore and locate the most useful content
- Rebuilding their Ecommerce site from the ground up via Sitecore Commerce
Our overall approach was to surface content effectively by enhancing information architecture (IA), navigation, and search. Much of the information architecture, navigation, and design work was shaped by beta testing, where we released a smaller version of the site to a select group of people for more in-depth user testing.
To streamline NAHB’s complex IA, we centralized the industry news and insights sections of the site. Similarly, we simplified the site’s navigation to establish a more seamless wayfinding experience on desktop and mobile. This navigation update also included a feature designed to promote timely, curated content as audiences browse the site.
Our approach included:
- Surfacing content by enhancing information architecture, navigation, and search
- Streamlining the website’s complex information architecture
- Simplifying the website’s navigation on desktop and mobile
NAHB’s website includes several solutions that address their Ecommerce and content findability needs. The site’s search leverages machine learning via Coveo. This allows the site to continuously learn and adapt, by collecting insights from visitor behaviors and search terms to provide better search results. This member-centric experience was also influenced by research and analytics. We used insights we drew from analytics to propose simplifying NAHB’s membership dashboard and profiles so they could emphasize the most valuable content and membership benefits.
To improve content findability, we seamlessly integrated NAHB’s Ecommerce site with their larger website. Through heavy testing, integration, and implementation work, we successfully constructed an Ecommerce site that provides a more holistic experience and fits better into NAHB’s main website by catering to more to member needs.