Military Installations Program Directory Module

Military OneSource has enabled veterans and families to utilize their Installation Program Directory to find programs and services at their local installation around the world.

Project Type

  • Research
  • Analytics
  • User Interface Design (web + mobile)
  • User Behavior
  • Prototyping


I was tasked with researching why users where not interacting with the selective dropdown. Find out what was the disconnect, and what do the numbers tell us?

The brief

We were seeing a disconnect between “Select a program or service” and “Search the name of an installation”. Why were users not using the dropdown as intended? are users making a connection?

We could make the dropdown required, but we didn’t want to force the user as they could abandon the module all together. A few things we did know is that by default the user can skip the program/service dropdown, find their installation and hit search as the program/service dropdown would default to “all”.

The Challenge

The data shows some insight into how the users were using the module: Military OneSource was tracking 340K users per month, of which 4K events were occurring using the Installation Program Directory. Of those 4K, 59% of users were primarily using the Installation search, while 24% used the Program or Service drop down, and the remaining 17% used the View Directory of Installations text link. How can we improve the look of the module so that the user will navigate to the program or service drop down first?

The plan

Because the data doesn’t tell us the whole story, we wanted to experiment with a possible solution. What if we style the dropdown and search? Would it make a difference? If we enhanced the visual style, it could be recognized as part of the flow. Here is the final option before going to the Dev Team (note: the original style is at the top of this page).

The restying of the module made it cohesive with other drop down stylings across the brand. The restyling was introduced in December so it was time to track its results.

The findings

The data that was gathered was between the old module and the restyled module. The data shows us that from November to December, Installation Lookup was used primarily 49% of the time, while select program or service drop down was used 22% of the time. With the update to the module the data collected now shows Select Program or Service capturing 51% of the users while Installation lookup was 17%.

So why was the metric for total events where event action ‘Program or Service’ different between All Users and the segment of users where event action contains ‘Installation Lookup’? When the segment is applied, it’s looking at users who interacted with both steps of the tool. It’s expected that total events for the event action ‘Program or Service’, would be much higher when looking at All Users because there are users who only interact with the dropdown step of the tool (which is the step that triggers the event where event action ‘Program or Service is used).