VIEWS: 29 PAGES: 12 POSTED ON: 11/6/2011
Austin Technology Incubator: Web Site Redesign October 8, 2002 update Kayla Chioco Emily Hebard Jennifer Jobst Lisa Kleinman Mike Normura 1 Introduction The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) would like to redesign its current website to have it better reflect their mission and provide better services to a wide variety of users. Our LIS385T group has agreed to provide ATI with suggestions and prototypes for a new information architecture, including navigation architecture and a limited graphical re- design. We will also provide a web site style guide so that ATI can implement the re- design. 2 The Project The major components of this re-design include: Restructuring the underlying information architecture Standardizing the navigational structure by developing a navigation scheme Identifying page templates Heuristically evaluating the overall usability of the site (Update 10/08/02 – Time constraints prevented writing of a formal heuristic analysis, but all team members participated in an informal verbal analysis of the site.) The re-design of the web site will be based on the input provided from primary ATI stakeholders and end users (using interviews, scenario development, and usability evaluations), as well as benchmarks. This re-design will allow ATI to have a framework that allows future content to be easily added and is in line with ATI’s ability to support the website. Update 10/8/02 – Due to lack of contact with ATI, our input will consist primarily of user scenarios that we have developed and our own observations and heuristics. Refer to section 4.1 for details about our user scenarios. In addition, because we are having difficulty contacting ATI, we do not know about ATI’s ability to support the website. 2.1 Purpose The purpose of this project is to provide ATI with a web site architectural framework that, when fully implemented, allows ATI's users to accomplish their goals, including: Communicating ATI’s mission and goals Allowing prospective companies to submit proposals Showing employment opportunities Fertilizing a knowledge network (11/3/02 – We decided that the content currently known as the “knowledge network” should be in the intranet, and since the scope of this project only includes ATI’s Internet, we would not include it as part of the project. In our final submission to ATI we will recommend that they move the knowledge network to their intranet only. However, current architecture redesign does support access to the existing knowledge network through a member login.) Showcasing available consultants and ATI companies Attracting potential investors Further discussions with ATI may widen or narrow the project's scope. 2.2 Objectives Define the mission of the website in the context of the overall mission and vision of ATI (Update 10/08/02 – With the help of ATI, we have defined the mission to be catering to the four most important target audiences – emerging technology companies, job seekers, prospective professional service providers, and investors) Analyze current and projected content (11/03/02 – Due to lack of contact with ATI, we are unable to get projected content. Instead we will focus on improving existing content and making suggestions in the style guide for developing consistent content in the future.) Consult with primary stakeholders and end users to determine their usage patterns and requirements (10/08/02 – lack of contact with primary stakeholders forces us to rely on our scenarios and personal experience to determine usage patterns and requirements.) Develop a taxonomy that describes the organizing of the current content, then create a new taxonomy (if necessary) that also encompasses any new content Create an information architecture model based on the design requirements Create a navigation scheme for the information space Test the usability of the information architecture through low-fi prototypes Create a site style guide 2.2.1 Critical Success Factors Communicating among team members and between the team and ATI Meeting as many of ATI’s goals as are realistic in the time frame given Managing ATI's expectations 2.3 Assumptions ATI will work with us to: o Identify target users o Provide contact information where appropriate o Identify what they would like to see accomplished o (10/13/02 – ATI has told us what they consider to be their target users, and has identified a few things that they would like to see accomplished. Fortunately their goals mesh will with everything we have developed so far.) We have the freedom to change the site as we see fit (graphically, content, and/or organization) We are not implementing a technologically functional web site (see 3.2 Deliverables) 2.4 Constraints Time (schedule only permits 10 weeks of work) Quality of ATI contacts and assistance Existing back-end site architecture and other engineering constraints (10/23/02 – due to lack of contact with ATI, we do not know the back-end site architecture or any other engineering constraints, and so will not consider this a constraint.) Legal or business policies (10/23/02 – as far as we know, the only business or legal policies are that it needs to be obvious that ATI is affiliated with the University of Texas, and with IC2.) 2.5 Risks Infrequent in-person client contact Managing ATI’s expectations (for example, we will not deliver a fully functional web site) Version control of all deliverables (documentation, prototypes, wireframes, etc) Technological meltdowns (system/storage failure, etc.) 2.6 Team Members Kayla Chioco firstname.lastname@example.org Emily Hebard email@example.com Jennifer Jobst firstname.lastname@example.org Lisa Kleinman email@example.com Mike Nomura firstname.lastname@example.org 2.7 Team Responsibilities Attendance at team meetings Responsiveness to email and other communications Consistent communication with ATI (Update 11/24/02 – after the preliminary meeting with ATI, due to time constraints we decided to go ahead with the project based on this information.) Hand in of weekly deliverables (Update 11/24/02 – most of our weekly deliverables were internal to the team, and team members feel that this process worked.) Individual responsibilities will be assigned as the project evolves Currently, Kayla is our web master and Jennifer is responsible for the weekly updates of our deliverable document. All team members are breaking up the workload as needed: we are each working on developing user scenarios and looking at how the goals of each scenario could be met using the existing web site. Refer to section 3.4.1 and section 4 for more information on our current workload. 3 Project Planning Refer to section 3.3 for dates for these deliverables. Meet with ATI to identify site goals and target users (Update 10/7/02) (Update 10/13/02 – we were in fact able to meet with ATI on October 11 to identify site goals and target users.) Evaluate user requirements Write user scenarios and content matrix Evaluate comparable web sites for benchmarking (refer to section 4.2 for a competitive analysis) Develop navigation and information architecture based on scenarios and content Design wireframes for key pages, focusing on use of templates Implement low-fi prototypes Refine prototypes through usability testing (Update 11/24/02 – instead of formal usability testing, we chose to do informal verbal heuristics, cognitive walkthroughs, and card sorting.) Write style guide Present deliverables to ATI and class 3.1 Project Scope Information architecture of select content as mutually agreed on by ATI and team (Update 10/7/02) (Update 10/13/02 – ATI’s input was incorporated.) Prototype pages (or templates) of key pages Style guide will address scalability (Update 11/24/02 - of information, not implementation), maintenance (Update 11/24/02 – for style, not technology), and other issues (Update 11/24/02 – design, layout, and presentation) 3.2 Deliverables The final product for ATI will be a document outlining the proposed information architecture for their web site, including: Prototyped pages (possibly with some interaction) (Update 11/24/02 – Prototype pages can be found at http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/%7El385ati/16.html) User testing summaries (Update 11/24/02 – Informal verbal heuristics (http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/%7El385ati/5.html), Cognitive walkthrough (http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/%7El385ati/14.html) and card sorting (http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/%7El385ati/10.html) Style guide (Update 11/24/02 – Style guide can be found at http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/%7El385ati/17.html) Presentation of project 3.3 Timeline for Deliverables Oct. 1 - 15, 2002 – Planning The planning phase will involve gathering information to shape the requirements of the IA and determine the context in which the IA is developed. To gather the necessary information, we will interview primary stakeholders (ATI Director and Webmaster) and end users, develop user scenarios, study website usage, review design of the current website and legal and business policies. In addition, we will gather content from the current website. Update 10/8/02 – we are currently on track with this phase as we have developed user scenarios, have performed benchmarks of other comparable sites, and are in the process of gathering content from the current site. Oct. 16 - 31, 2002 – Analysis As information is gathered, we will begin a detailed analysis. The analysis will yield the requirements for the architecture and will reflect the users’ expectations and goals for the web site. This includes developing the website mission, a user oriented taxonomy to categorize information in the website, and structuring the content based on the taxonomy. To support an effective design we will also study other web sites and commercial web sites to develop benchmarks for the new web site. (This was already taken care of in the planning stage and so can be removed from the analysis stage.) Update 11/02/02 – we have completed the content analysis of the website. After much discussion and testing, a new taxonomy and labeling system has been developed to better categorize the information on the site. As for the website mission, that has more or less been defined both by us and ATI as catering to the users presented in the scenarios. Nov. 1 - 15, 2002 – Design The architecture for the website will be constructed using the detailed requirements, content, and user analysis derived in the Planning and Analysis phases. The architecture and navigation scheme will be based on the user oriented taxonomy and content matrix. A wire frame of pages will be developed to represent the key pages of the web site. Update 11/17/02 – After discussing the web site’s graphical design and layout and brainstorming on a whiteboard, we agreed to develop 3 prototypes and decide which we liked most (or which aspects we liked in each). From these 3 prototypes we agreed on a single wire frame for the main page and the secondary pages. We also redesigned the content somewhat to fit the new navigation scheme. Nov. 12, 2002 – Construction The style guide will be written and the prototypes implemented, based upon our research. Update 11/23/02 – The style guide will be completed on 11/24. Nov. 19, 2002 - Verification and Deployment We will perform user testing of prototypes and refine the prototypes based on test results. Update 11/17/02 – this phase of the project was really done in the Design phase, when we tested our three prototypes. Nov. 26, 2002 - Final Walkthrough Review We will meet with ATI to assure project goals have been met. In addition to the design, recommendations will be made for content maintenance and web site expansion and extension. Update 10/13/02 – Instead of meeting with ATI, we will send them the deliverables, and meet with Dr. Turnbull to make sure all goals for this project have been met. Dec. 3, 2002 - Group Project Presentations/Post-Mortem Report We will present our project to the class and to ATI, and we will provide a post-mortem report that reviews what we felt went well with the project, as well as areas that could be improved. 3.4 General Content Specifications Currently there are several main areas of content that we have identified on the existing site: About us (that is, about ATI) Jobs Admissions (to ATI) Services (that ATI provides) Miscellaneous 3.4.1 Existing Content and Design We are currently in the process of developing a template to capture the site’s current content. Once we have the template, we will be reviewing the following html pages for content: Update 11/11/02 – Template for content audit has been developed (it can be found at http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/%7El385ati/9.html), and we will be using it for the audits. MIKE - About Us: aboutus.htm mission.htm ATI-history.htm background.htm fact-sheet.htm joel-wiggins.htm EMILY – Jobs section & misc. index.asp companies.asp gradutes.htm contact.htm formsent.htm map.htm news.asp jobsgood.asp submit-resume.htm JENNIFER - Admissions: admission.htm admissions-criteria.htm ati-requirements.htm admissions-process.htm exec-sum-requirments.htm ExecSumAss3.htm ppt-req.htm powerpoint.htm entrepreneurs.htm LISA - Services: services.htm strategy.htm financing.htm mktg-pr.htm hr.htm know-how-net.htm http://wnt.cc.utexas.edu/~icac707/knowhow/ati_prospect1.cfm synergies.htm on-site-orgs.htm infrastructure.htm Update 11/22/02 - The content audits for each of these pages can be found at http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/%7El385ati/9.html. 3.4.2 New Content and Design Once we finish analyzing the existing content and test our user scenarios to find what content is required to satisfy user needs, we will develop new content to fill any gaps. Update 11/10/02 – Because of lack of contact with ATI, we do not know what kind (if any) of new content they want. Instead, we have made suggestions (based on our competitor analysis and user scenarios) to revise the existing content to fit with the new navigation and architecture schemes. These suggestions include: More information for investors A “business resources” section Architectural support for a “resume database” 4 Analysis 4.1 Users Because we were unable to contact actual users, we devised user scenarios to describe why people might visit the ATI site. We then followed our scenarios to get an idea of what pages potential users might visit on the site and what information they would be looking for. We will use this information to develop a taxonomy and ideas of what the site’s content should contain, so that we can then develop new content as needed. A description of the user scenarios can be found at http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/%7El385ati/6.html, and the scenario paths (that is, what paths users would follow on the current ATI site based on each scenario) can be found at http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/%7El385ati/7.html. 4.2 Competitive Analysis As part of our evaluation, we reviewed other similar sites to use as a benchmark for ATI’s existing site. The site reviews can be found at http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/%7El385ati/8.html. 4.3 Content Analysis We analyzed the content of the existing site. These analyses can be found at http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/%7El385ati/11.html. 5 Design 5.1 Design Elements 5.1.1 Two-tiered navigation The navigation scheme for the new ATI site incorporates a top navigation bar that contains global links on the main page. On sub-pages, an additional left-hand navigation bar contains links for the information that can be found in that section. We chose this navigation scheme both to update ATI’s existing site to a more standard method of presentation, and also because our cognitive walkthrough showed that this sort of navigation scheme helped people stay oriented within the site. 5.1.2 Footer navigation Sub-pages include footer navigation that repeats the top global navigation links. We chose to include footer navigation on the sub-pages because many of them have content that goes “below the fold” and thus requires the user to scroll. 5.1.3 Affiliates logos One if ATI’s requirements was to include links to their affiliates’ sites. On other sites, this is commonly done by placing the logos of the affiliate sites at the bottom of the page (but preferably “above the fold”), and having the logos link to the appropriate site. We chose to follow this standard in the redesigned site, instead of using ATI’s text-only links to affiliates’ sites. 5.1.4 Content Content layout can be an important design element, and we felt that it was critical to have a similar look and feel for the content throughout the site. The ATI style guide (http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/~l385ati/17.html#content) was designed to ensure consistent typographical and layout elements. This standardization contributes to improved site branding and increases ease of user navigation (as shown in our cognitive walkthroughs). 5.1.5 Logo as link to home Another standard we chose to follow in the site redesign was to make the ATI logo a link to the home page. This also eliminates the need for a “Home” link on the global navigation bar. 5.1.6 Audience focus ATI’s main goal with their web site redesign was to cater to several key user groups: prospective incubator companies, prospective investors, and job seekers. The site’s overall design and layout, including the three audience-centric links on the right-hand side of the main page, are geared with these audience members, and their goals, in mind. 5.1.7 Periodically updated content In order to keep the site’s content fresh and to encourage users to visit the site often, we implemented two areas on the main page that contain content that must be periodically updated. The “Latest Headlines” section will contain information about press releases and other media-related information, and the “Success Story” section will feature an incubator company. It is important that these sections be updated frequently so the site will not be stale. 5.1.8 Web page templates We chose not to design a template for our home page, since there is only one page like it. However, we did create a template for our sub pages. You can see the template for the sub-pages applied to the prototype at http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/~l385ati/ati1/index.htm. 6 Construction The objective of this project was to design templates that could be implemented. In addition to fulfilling this goal, we also built interactive HTML prototypes, and this section discusses this process. 6.1 Version Control Because each team member was responsible for a specific aspect of the project, we had little problem with version control. Two team members did use the Dreamweaver check in/check out function when working on the web site prototype. In addition, the project web site contributed greatly to communication, since the latest version of each aspect of the project was always available on our web site. 6.2 Standards and Conventions The standards and conventions to be used in construction of the ATI web site are covered in the style guide, available at http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/%7El385ati/17.html. 6.3 Development Tools We used a variety of tools to develop the prototypes, wire frames, content, etc. for the new ATI site. Most team members used what they were familiar with, including: Dreamweaver Microsoft Word Adobe Photoshop Visio Omnigraffle 7 Verification We used several methods of verification throughout the process of redesigning ATI’s site, including: User scenarios Scenario paths Competitor evaluations Content audit Content analysis Cognitive walkthrough Card sorting We were unable to perform an heuristic evaluation of actual users on our interactive prototype due to time constraints (and because we were not planning to have a working prototype to test). However, we verified that the delivered prototype conforms to the style guide, and we validated the prototype’s functionality (e.g. checking that links work and images appear correctly). 8 Maintenance At this time, ATI does not have a dedicated web master. Thus, we wanted to design a site that was relatively easy to maintain. However, with the rotating content we have suggested in the redesign, if this is not maintained regularly then the content will look stale. 9 Outstanding Issues - Items to be resolved after review of this document Because of time constraints, lack of contact with ATI led to many assumptions being made about many aspects of the web site Lack of time to do full iterative design based on think-aloud protocol Lack of access to web logs precluded us from doing a full evaluation of site traffic and patterns of use 10 Post Mortem (possibly another document with considerations for future enhancements, etc.) What we would have done differently: Weekly meetings with ATI Think-aloud user testing Contact with actual users for research, better scenario development, and user testing We would like to develop the content under the audience-specific links We will be handing this project off to Prentiss Lee for use in her Capstone class in the spring of 2003.
Pages to are hidden for
"proposal"Please download to view full document