UX Design

LINK's Website Re-architecture

Client: AIGA LINK Program
Date: October 2018
Role: Strategist, Information Architecture, Visual Design Lead
Tools: Sketch, PowerPoint
“As a website admin, I need a web site that is easy to update and that our student will use.”

PROJECT SUMMARY

 

Problem.

    • The current Link Program web site is difficult to update from an admin perspective.
    • For users, it’s difficult to navigate and read from mobile devices. For this reason, students do not use the site.

See the old site  

Strategy.

  • Determine a CMS platform to power the site.
  • Incorporate a task management tool to keep the working team on task.
  • Identify opportunities the current site missed.
  • Identify a design template to do the heavy lifting of coding and to eliminate the need for a full visual design process.
  • Architect the site then customize the design.

My Role.

  • INITIATIVE. When I joined the LINK website team, the Project Lead was contemplating CMS systems. I suggested Joomla due to its reasonable learning curve and extendability through its applications templates. I presented a comparison of the top 3 CMS systems and the team agreed.

  • PROJECT MANAGEMENT. To ensure the team was on track our Lead set up weekly meetings. I suggested a task management system to ensure we stay on track with requests and were held accountable to our responsibilities. We implemented Asana into our admin process.

  • PRESENT TO LEADERSHIP. I then created a presentation for the LINK leadership team including the CMS justification, project roadmap, budget. Our entire proposal was immediately accepted.

    See presentation  

  • FRUGALITY. Since we’re volunteers, we donated our time for the design and development. Based on component research I determined total expenses at $240 for phase 1 and $150 for phase 2.

  • DISCOVERY & ANALYSIS. Our project lead chose a template and I determined the components. We did this before architecture and design to minimize the need to outsource customization and increase budget.

  • UX DESIGN. I created the experience for the events section of the site while my partners created the experience for information pages. As part of the Event Management experience, I integrated MailChimp into our site.

  • INITIATIVE. Our project lead took a hiatus from the Program due to (happy) life events. I assumed the role of Project Lead.

  • SIMPLIFY. After exhausting all options create easily implement pages with the existing template I made the decision to scrap it. I immediately found a new one which was easier to use, with a visual design more closely aligned with our primary target audience: creative high school students.

  • DEVELOPMENT. I installed the template and all components on the platform and customized the design by creating a design system, and updating the PHP, HTML, and CSS.
         

RESULTS

 

I came in 55% under budget. I was able to reduce the applications needed only costing $172 for phase 1 and the component estimated for phase 2.

The website launched 5 months late due to changes in the web team’s availability, collectively. The unanticipated change to the design template also cost us time. To prevent further delay we launched with critical components:

  • Event management & online registration.
  • Program overview summarized on the home page.
  • FAQs
  • MailChimp Integration

The Volunteers, About and Student Benefits sections are currently being built.

Student & volunteer registration management is completed online with a 70-100% response rate for each event since launch. This significantly reduced time spent creating and reviewing correspondence over the previous manual communication process.