WIT is the major provider of higher education in the South East. It is one of the largest IOT's in Ireland, with almost 10,000 students and 900 staff, delivering university-level research, innovation, and programs for the last 50 years.
The purpose of this initial meeting was to firstly introduce the team, secondly to understand the project background, what success looks like and understand what needed to be done, and lastly, to agree on how to work together effectively. To get the project up and running, the team outlined what was needed from the client to complete the next steps in the UX phase.
UX Research Phase Requirements
Research - User Group Interviews
Two types of user questionnaire were created to ensure the collection of all data, which was achieved through in person based interviews. These interviews were carried out on the Institution campus. This helped to collect valuable insights and to apply them directly to the design or follow up on.
The questions were divided into student-based and staff-based questionnaires, which focused on frustrations, pain points and suggested improvements. The questionnaires was reviewed by the client and after implementing their feedback, the questionnaire was conducted via group interviews.
Results were formatted in separate google docs based on the user. This allowed easy access to the results to both the client and the Kooba team.
Initial UX Research
Creation of the UX report, showcasing UX findings from HotJar and analytics.
Presentation of the UX report to the client.
Implementation of findings directly into the design phase for the other templates, using gained data.
The following step was the creation of the sitemap, which outlines the site structure and the template applied to each wireframe. This was used to define the taxonomy through grouping of related content. This ensured that the content is in places users would expect to find it. The template format for the designs were as followed.
(T01) - Homepage.
(T02) - Standard Inner.
(T03) Standard Listing (Courses, News, Events, Resources).
(T05) Schools Course Landing.
(T06) Courses Overview.
(T07) Current Students Landing.
(T08) Gallery Template (Staff,Tour,Video).
(T09) Contact (Forms & Map).
Wireframes were created to design at the structural level. The aim was to lay out content and functionality on a page that takes into account user needs and user journeys.
One of the focus areas was the navigation design, due to the large amount of information on the WIT website. The structure of the navigation was strategically broken into two menu types. The analytical organisation of the links in the two menus was created after analysing what menu links are most value and what is less value for the users.
The purpose of the two navigation types was firstly, to provide top level dropdown popular links for different user types, reducing the need to search heavily for desired information. Secondly, a more detailed mega menu navigation, which provides more detailed links.
Review of sitemap and wireframe from the client.
Implementation of client’s feedback.
Conclusion and sign-off of the UX phase.
The overall visual appeal and usability of the website was improved thanks to a professional and approachable look and feel using the brand colours from the Institution logo. The new website sets the overall message of the Institution brand as being a modern university providing research, innovation and programmes dedicated to excellence in higher education.
The UI design was then presented to the client.
Through InvsionApp the client collaborated on design prototypes by adding comments and feedback directly to the design screens, followed by feedback implementation.
The client was unsatisfied with the colours used in the newly proposed design at that time. They wanted more vibrant appealing colours that reflected the brand. The feedback was taken onboard and was iterated upon.
Design file organised into a Desktop, Tablet, Mobile, and asset views. Assets including Colour pallets, text styles, and Illustrations.
Test Site Review
Feedback provided to front-end regarding bugs and other issues, followed by amendment. This was achieved through screenshots and logging of issues on Basecamp through a “To-do” list, followed by assigning the issues to the allocated F.E team member.
Taking the clients feedback onboard, adjustments were made to the colour pallet of the website design and slight changes to the imagery selection in the website design.
Conclusion and sign-off of the UI homepage design.
Feedback & Learnings
As this project was completed over a long period of time, changes to the UI were incrementally were made while working collaboratively with the Institution team.
Details of the performance and learnings of this project are sadly unknown to me, due to the project launch after my change in company career.
Additionally, user testing plays an important role in the success of the project. However, due to the nature of the design agency and the limited timeline provided to complete the project, user testing could not be undertaken. In future projects of a similar nature, it would be an utterly important matter to consider.