I was visual designer on a team that created a search topic hub that will soon launch on Fidelity.com's search page. The intent of the search hub was to bring managed answers to the top of the page and make them easy to find. The inspiration for this feature came from seeing Google bring useful results to the top of the page, like these:
We created designs for topics (such as taxes), products (such as Active Trader Pro), and concepts (such as Minimum Required Distribution). We presented our designs to usability study participants and learned what you might expect – people will only click the links if they look organic and not like ads.
Armed the importance of this knowledge, we created three versions and conducted a first-click study with 500 participants. We gave users a task and asked them to click a link on the page that would help them complete their task. The link was always in the hub at the top of the page, sometimes an organic link above the fold, sometimes an organic link below the fold, and sometimes an organic link on the second page. Our results pointed to one design clearly outperforming the others in speed and accuracy. I created design specifications for the development team and look forward to seeing the search hub roll out to the live site.
This team had a dedicated usability researcher who performed the qualitative usability test and ran the quantitative usability test. I helped guide the large team to adopt a research focus, suggested ways to measure success, worked with the usability researcher to create several distinct designs with measurable differences, and emphasized choosing a final design based on analysis of the final test results.