What? Better user experience
Why? To increase engagement
How? Full redesign of the platform
Not only did I give the website an inviting new look, but I also added a ton of new features, made improvements to structure, and gave high focus to interactively. Aside from 20+ pages of research findings was delivered an interactive wireframe prototype which included dozens of fixes to problems found during research and solutions to draw more people in.
- Get more people in, get more stories out there and people who would wanna listen to those stories
- To implement more than just quick fixes
- To essentially build a far more ambition version of the current website that is most important implementable
" To design things right, we need to design the right thing"
What we knew
What keeps them up at night
In order to evaluate the current platform in early stages, I started with Heuristic Evaluation and SWAT analysis, a review of the site against the best user experience design principles. It allowed me to identify potential areas for focus like page layout & visual design, navigation & information architecture, task orientation, and content quality.
While the current platform had its strengths, there were concerns and opportunities that I was able to see as a designer at the start of the project:
Looking at Google Analytics revealed important information about click paths, target demographics, device preferences, core browsers and technology
Here we began thinking about the current site’s flaws in order to start tackling why engagement is so low. So drawing inspiration from direct and analogous competitors proved vital in developing what the current site lacks:
- concise and persuasive text and a clear articulation of an ultimate goal
- clear communicating the goal and security measures throughout the sites
- seamless onboarding and positive reinforcement
- organizing stories by theme
By doing a number of usability tests and interviews with new users who navigated through the current platform we were able to evaluate the user-friendliness of the current website and determine pain points. We then gathered all of this data and began brainstorming by key themes. This helped us draw connections between the individual bits of data.
Conducted an online survey to collect quantitative data about users, while simultaneously learning more about their behavior. It helped us to define user goals and needs and started thinking about our target audience.
We came up with 14 questions. Due time constraints we had to close the survey when we reached 21 participants, then we used an affinity map to see trends in their responses.
We identified two main target users who have the greatest impact on the site: the listener and the storyteller. To better understand our types of audiences, empathize with them, and find solutions to their problems.
There should be one more target user "Producer" but we weren't focusing on that because if there are no stories there is nothing for Producers.
I organized a participatory design studio with our Client Team to combine ideation and design. This collaborative sketching exercise for the entire team helped us to come up with a lot of ideas on how to address our problem. Knowing our user and their key points we were trying to answer three questions:
Those HMW statements lead us to find a vision and methods to make our way into solving the problem. We found the area we needed to be focused on.
By laying out the site objectives, improving overall clarity, and assuring data privacy, we will provide our target users with the agency to make informed decisions, therefore, optimizing their visitor experience and increasing overall engagement on the site.
We brainstormed so many ideas that we had to use prioritization matrix in order to prioritize what to include in our solution, our Must have & Should Have, and leave Could Have and Won't Have for a revisit. This structured approach helped us achieve group consensus while satisfying the varied needs of our target users as well as our business.
To do so we took into consideration Value vs. Effort of the feature.
Things like creating an account aren't hard to develop since the site already storing some user information, and it falls under High Effort and High Urgency. While applying Artificial Intelligence is hard to implement and takes time we would leave it to a revisit.
To organize, structure, and label content in an effective and sustainable way we map out new site skeleton.
Before we began wireframing it was important to put pen to paper and experiment with initial design concepts. First idea here
Here were started the cyclic process of prototyping, testing, analyzing, and refining the product we designing.
I think every good project starts with wireframes & sketches. I have to solve issues with wireframes. We sketched countless ideas and brainstormed various possibilities and created low-fidelity wireframes and prototypes to test.
Key considerations after the first usability test:
Feedback from users helped us to remove interaction bugs and to reconceptualize the interface.
By fixing these known issues based on feedback from users we were able to implement new ideas in our next design.
Functional is good, but there was still some room for improvement.
I was able to test it out on the early stages of developing mid-fi wireframes, besides clarity, all the feedback was around look and feel of it. Due time constants I personally had to move forward to work on our visual design and animation aspect, while two other teammates worked on copywriting and prototyping.
I started exploring what it could actually look like going in-depth of colors as we know colors and emotions are closely linked. Every color creates different emotions and feelings.
Lack of trust, “We don’t want it to feel very sad or very upbeat.” lead me to Blue - the color of trust and security. While warm tones of Yellow and Red could grab attention and inspire people to create. In addition to that using primary colors adds accessibility to it.
Another thing I implemented was an avatar from OpenPeeps to add more personalization feel without having to disturb people anonymity.
It wasn't all about UX & UI of the website, there were also some things of improving the product as a whole discovered along the way.
Collaboration is possible no matter where you are. Our team was truly global. The primary client contacts are in London, main developer is in Boston, and the rest of the team in Germany.
When I was organizing Participatory Design Studio I wasn't sure if the client team will be able to make it due to their time zones, and everyone's input was important because that activity was about brainstorming the solution and we wanted to know what's feasible and what's not in advance. Fortunately, it went well, our team just had to wake up super early in the morning. And also thanks to Mural and Uber Conference for making digital possible to collaborate on such an activity created for on-site only use.