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I am working on creating a government site that will serve many purposes and different users. The board members I am working with came up with two options for the main navigation for the website.

Option 1: Live, Work, Enjoy, Find

Option 2: Visitors, Residents, Businesses

I have my strong feelings on which I prefer, but looking for some expert advice. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.

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Have you done any card sorting with users from different groups? Given a broad audience of different customer groups I would suggest making an educating decision based on feedback from that study.

The main question based on both options is: Do all users first self-identify themselves based on who they are: a visitor, a resident or a business? Or do they first attempt to find necessary information based on an action group: live, work, enjoy, find?

On a personal note

Option 1 - gives a more warm / personable feel

  1. I am worried that all audiences would know where to find the information they would be looking for. I can see many items could potentially fall under multiple primary nav items (may not be a bad idea to include those into all applicable sections?).
  2. 'Live' maybe too broad of a menu item as it encapsulates all other items in itself

Option 2 sounds a bit cold, but may grant a better customer segmentation of where the user needs to go to find the information they are looking for

  1. Can all users easily self identify themselves as one of those three types in every use-case?
  2. When would I identify myself as a "visitor"? That is a very loose term which may cause confusion.
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    Haven't done any card sorting, but I think you are right an educated decision would be the way to go. – S August Nov 3 '15 at 23:39
  • @lgorek You would identify yourself as "Visitor" if you lived in a different city/town from the website. (its a town website) – S August Nov 3 '15 at 23:43
  • @SAugust a "Visitor" label may need to be clarified a bit. It needs to be crystal clear to the user :) Maybe a different label or a content around that menu could provide such clarification – Igorek Nov 3 '15 at 23:57
  • @lgorek maybe instead of "Visitors" it could become "Visiting" , under dropdown it has , What to See, Where to go, Where to stay. I was just trying to make them all nouns. – S August Nov 4 '15 at 0:03
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    Perhaps, but then you would need to update other items to match the first one. Example: "I am ... visiting/residing/doing business ... in this town" or something similar. – Igorek Nov 4 '15 at 0:04

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