Simplifying complex systems
I am part of the User Experience & Information Architecture team at iFactory, a web design agency in Downtown Boston. I have worked with a variety of higher education clients on organizing their complex websites and creating amazing digital experiences.
In 2018, I was part of the User Experience & Information Architecture team at iFactory, a web design agency in Downtown Boston. I worked with a variety of higher education clients on organizing their complex websites and creating amazing digital experiences.
As a UX/IA designer, I present my deliverables to clients and facilitate the feedback process to build consensus. I commonly work on the following deliverables:
Here are a few of the sites that I have had the pleasure of working on:
Our team starts by looking at the client's current website state, and mapping out where all the content currently lived. From there, we re-organize the content on the site to be more intuitive for the user. Site maps are an interesting challenge because we have to simplify complex and content-heavy sites, some with hundreds or even thousands of pages. Every client had a different set of needs for how their content should be organized. For example, a community college offering classes to high school students would require a very different navigation structure than a four-year medical school.
For each client, we develop around four personas to represent their main segments of users. Each persona is created in close partnership with our Strategy team, whose information on the client and their student population helped to inform our decisions.
As we develop the sitemap and wireframes, we gauge the effectiveness of our designs through the personas' eyes.
In designing CMS's for our clients, we always create a few custom pages for their most prominent pages, such as the homepage, academics page, or student life page. Our wireframes, usually only 3 colors, focus on functionality, storytelling, hierarchy, and layout.
For each website, we create comprehensive functional specifications to pass off to our team of developers. These are essentially annotated wireframes, dissecting each component, describing how each interaction should work, noting which components from the CMS are being used, and marking which fields are editable. The main challenge here is in translating complex functionality into straightforward explanations to ensure a smooth development process.
We have usability-tested different aspects of our website designs, including the navigation structure, user flow, and visual design. I assisted in creating usability testing scripts, facilitating these tests (both remotely and through video chat), and parsing through the data and recrodings to generate design recommendations.