UNDERSTANDING THE CONTEXT & USER
The Centre for Product Design & Manufacturing is a design department, that is a part of the esteemed Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka, India. In collaboration with our fellow classmates and department management, we decided to improve the digital presence and reach of the department which has been lacking since many years.
As students of Centre for Product Design & Manufacturing (CPDM), we had to help our department excel in the digital world. This started with the re-design of the CPDM website in order to transform the way people perceived our department and provide structured & relevant information about it.
The Present Website
Here we have analyzed the layout and structuring of the present CPDM website and identified the problems associated with it.
1.The Website as a whole: Inefficient use of the canvas, the website is also not responsive to different devices & screen sizes, lack of visual balance & aesthetics Static website
2.Header: The prominence of the header overshadows the content, essential information not properly highlighted.
3. Navigation Tabs: Unstructured labeling of navigation, all users not considered while designing the navigation.
4.Announcements Area: – Highly textual, very little visual communication, absence of events related details.
5.Footer Area: Unnecessary prominence given to a non-functional area, lacks utility.
To understand the users and stakeholders and their tasks and goals we created personas based on the interviews with them.
NEED & TASK ANALYSIS
In order to identify the areas of improvement and features of eminent design school websites, a comparison had to be done.
First, we made a list of all the features the websites had then compared it with our existing website to see where we were lacking. This gave us a heat map of the features with respect to other websites of the same nature (see figure), identifying areas for improvement.
Some of the websites that our website was compared to are :
1. Institute of Design, Stanford, USA 2. Design Programme, IIT Kanpur 3. National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad 4. Industrial Design Center, IIT Bombay 5. Department of Design, IIT Guwahati 6. MIT Institute of Design, Pune
Task flow for retrieving information
Task flow for updating website
Tasks used frequently by most people should be easily accomplished as compared to tasks used rarely or occasionally and by few people.
DESIGN CONCEPTS & EVALUATION
The process of conceptualisation and evaluation is as follows : 1. To generate a concept that is ideal to our context, a concept that is useful but more closer to reality and a concept in between the two. 2. Compare the concepts on certain mandatory criteria for decision making. 3. Select the final concept.
For us, time required to execute the concept was the most critical criterion, as we had to design, develop and test in one month. Thus, based on this we selected concept 3 to be the most viable option. This became the base of our project and also a starting point for an evolving idea. Our plan was to meet the basic requirements within the time frame and progressively move towards improving in the future.
STRUCTURING THE CONTENT
A one on one closed card sorting was used for structuring the information. This method was followed for each of the persona’s described earlier. Each persona had two participants for card sorting the information under the desired labels. Even though there were slight variations in the card sorting done by each persona, we managed to
form a structured information architecture to suit the understanding of all personas. The card sorting session with each participant lasted for 10-15 minutes and contained around 35 cards and 9 pre-defined labels. This process was highly helpful to create a structure using existing labels and understand how the users perceive the content.
WIREFRAMES & PAPER PROTOTYPES
Feedback consist of usability testing and google analytics. Usability testing is yet to be conducted as the website is still under development. The results of the usability testing will be used to improve the user’s experience and interactions with the system. The inferences of this testing will be shared after the beta launch of the website.
Planned testing methods include Heuristic Evaluation & other moderated techniques. In terms of quantitative feedback we plan to integrate the website with google analytics in order to get better insight about the areas of the website performing well and the areas that need attention, in order to improve the overall performance of the website and its components.