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SALA-SEEM Case Study

SALA-SEEM is a Secretariat that promotes the knowledge of Environmental Legislation as part of the USA-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.

Visit SALA-SEEM website

Project Overview

  • Problem

    Website’s architecture has been growing over time. Since then, more and more people have been using it.
  • Project Duration

    March-June 2023
  • Goal

    improve reading time, pages visited and increase interactions (form submissions).


I checked Google Analytics traffic to see time spent on pages and got a list of participants for the interviews. For the participants I took 2 environmental lawyers, 2 environmental activists, and 1 user without any knowledge of the site or topic.

Feedback reflected that the information was already there at the site but hard to find and when it comes to technical or legal documents, it takes too much time for users to find something they could use.

Research Questions

  • What can we do to make it easier for users to browse info?
  • How to improve the navigation on the site/app?
  • Is it easy to find a document about an specific topic?

Usability Study

  • This was a moderated study using 5 participants on virtual meetings of about 45 minutes long.
  • There were 5 tasks participants had to perform, the 3 most important were:
    • Find a specific legal document about the prices of Wood.
    • Find a Submission by it’s ID number.
    • Find a specific Factual Record

Usability Study: Findings

  • People were using the pages as navigation.
  • People had a really difficult time looking for a specific legal document
  • People felt frustrated when there was no hints or way to find documents easier.


User Stories

  • As a teacher, I want to find clear information so that I can explain it to my class or my son.
  • As an environmental activist, I want to find the latest laws so that I can promote community participation.


  • Priority 0
    • Based on the theme that: Most people felt the structure needs to be improved, an insight is: Information Architecture needs to be restructured to make it easier to find information
  • Priority 1
    • Based on the theme that: Most people looked for navigation using the frontpage, an insight is: Frontpage need to show snippets of the main sections
  • Priority 2
    • Based on the theme that: Most people needed visual cues or keywords to know what topics are covered by a document, an insight is: All documents repositories need to show excerpts and tags to help them cluster similar documents and find information faster.


Paper Wireframes

  • Desktop Version

    Paper Wireframe

  • Mobile Version

    Paper Wireframes

Digital Wireframes

  • Navigation was reflected on the frontpage to help people find it easier.
  • Frontpage resulted in doom scrolling because it was too long, reduced the size and simplified information.

Lo-Fi Prototype


  • Based on the insights, information was presented more clear on shorter paragraphs.
  • Large color buttons are now part of the layout so people now know they can click on them to move to other pages.
  • Graphic load was reduced to help loading times on remote áreas where Internet Access is limited.

Responsive Designs

Finally, these are the responsive designs for the website along with a change of the Information Architecture to help users find content easier.

Takeaways & Next Steps

What's next?

  • After publishing the changes on the website, conduct a usability study with a wider sample of users including those from remote regions.
  • Monitor and measure time spent on page.
  • Monitor downloads of documents from the repository or the citizen participation section.

Takeaways & Next Steps

  • Impact:
    One user in particular had special focus on navigation, colors and disposition of the information. She was worried on how her son could make use of this information and to make sure no one is excluded from this important source of environmental legislations.
  • What I learned:
    We do things on our daily jobs and we don’t know how far or who are we impacting. We could be changing someone’s life by just improving accessibility or by having content translated properly.

Published changes

I'm most glad to present you all the new website

You can compare this site against it's previous version as seen here.