Designing a user experience requires an understanding of what the organization is attempting to accomplish and what the user needs and desires. This balancing act requires understanding organizational goals to deliver a positive user experience, while recognizing that often organizations and users do not fully know what they need and want. The following assignment will allow you to research an organization and analyze their current user experience. In part 3, you will design a new user experience that will build upon what you learned in parts 1 & 2.
Part 1 – Project Research and Problem Definition
Each student will be assigned a website at random.
Research the organization that owns the site. Include the mission of the organization, products and services, and target market. Answer the following questions:
- What are the goals of the site?
- What is the problem that the organization is trying to solve?
- Who are the intended users and what do you think the organization would like them to accomplish using the site? Can you create a persona of the typical user?
- What data does the site collect? Why do you think this data is collected?
- What changes to the current design would you propose based on your initial research?
- Slide deck that showcases research and findings. Include the following three slides (only):
- Goals, problem being solved, and data
- Typical users
- Proposed changes
- Students will be selected at random at the beginning of class to present their findings to the class.
Part 2 – Usability Test & Goals
Now that you have completed the initial research and have a better understanding of what the organization is trying to do, let’s evaluate the user experience.
- Conduct a usability test of your assigned site.
- Download and adapt this usability test script. The script is generic, so you are required to adapt to your situation.
- Get two people other than yourself and excluding all MIS students to participate in the usability test using your adapted usability test script. (Remember, you are now familiar with the goals of the site, but try hard not to influence the selected users!)
- Document the process and notes and include the notes as well as the modified test script as an appendix in your submission.
- Create an ordered list of the most serious problems.
- List and explain problems, not solutions. For example, “it takes a long time to find relevant information because it is not logically organized” is a problem vs. “the content should be better organized in menus” which is a solution.
- Frame the above problems as examples of the following Norman’s concepts:
- The different types and forms of errors (Ch. 5).
- Conflict among the designer’s and user’s conceptual and the system image (Ch. 1)
- Gulf of execution and evaluation (Ch. 2)
- Seven stages of action (Ch. 2)
- The three levels of processing (Ch. 2)
- Blame: The wrong thing, learned helplessness, oneself
- Note: As you work through the above, you will notice that one problem fits into multiple concepts. This is good as long as you identify the aspect of the problem that fits into that particular concept.
- You will be graded on how well you can take what you learned from the usability test above and abstract to Norman’s concepts above.
- Compare the problems above to your proposed changes from Part 1. What does the comparison tell you about user experience design?
- Slide deck limited to 7 slides highlighting all of above elements. There is no limit to the Appendix which can be a Word document or additional slides marked as an appendix in the PowerPoint.
- Students will be selected at random at the beginning of class to present their findings to the class
Part 3 – Design
Part 3 includes three deliverables – alpha, beta, & final solution
In part 3, you will learn how to create a usable website using the Genesis framework. The deliverable for this project is a site which will demonstrate your knowledge of Genesis and the basics of user experience design. You should use the results of your research in Part 1 and usability test in Part 2 to create this site. Assume that you are the designer for the organization.
The Genesis framework
- Temple has a site license to lynda.com which includes excellent step-by-step tutorials on how to use Genesis. To access these tutorials, visit https://lynda.temple.edu/and login using your Temple credentials
- Next click the following link: Learning Genesis for WordPress(note: you must first login as specified above to benefit from the Temple site license).
- Please ignore the sections in the tutorial about Installing the Genesis Framework or working with templates.
- We will use a special project server https://project.mis.temple.edu/available for this class. Students in this class will be able to automatically access this server using Temple AccessNet credentials.
- The server contains the Genesis framework and most of the themes produced by StudioPress.
- Start watching the Lynda tutorial and experiment using your own site.
- To create a site, login to https://project.mis.temple.edu/hover on Hello,…, Sites, and click Create a Site.
- Click on the URL of the new site in the new message/alert to visit it.
- Activate the Executive Pro theme on your new site. This is the theme that the tutorial uses. Note: You will see the Genesis menu after you activate the theme.
Creating the site
Create a site using one of the Genesis themes that improves on the site from parts 1 and 2.
- Redesign the site you have researched in Parts 1 & 2.
- Use Executive Pro or select a different theme. Some of the themes have specific instructions, contact the instructor for the documentation.
- The site should at the minimum contain the following.
- A total of 6 pages or posts, with at least one of each. Each should have at least 100 words of content and one image. The titles and images should be appropriate and relevant. You can use filler text for the paragraphs.
- Home page that includes the Genesis Featured Page widget or the Genesis Featured Post widget to feature relevant content.
- Use the Genesis Responsive Slider on the home page to support the site goals.
- At least one menu including five menu items, and at least two sub-menus. It does not matter where you put the two sub-menus. However, all the menus should support the site goals.
- Layout that uses at least one sidebar.
- Sidebar should include at the minimum the search widget and one other widget relevant to the site goals.
- Relevant image logo in the header.
The alpha submission should include a status update on all of the above activities and the following specific items.
- Select the theme you are going to use for the redesign
- Provide a short justification on why this is the best theme for addressing the UX goals
- Create a draft home page that includes the Genesis Responsive Slider
- Add the menu structure and organization into the site or draw it
Submit the above as a PowerPoint document of 5-7 slides. Include the URL of the site as the last slide. There is no need to include screen prints inside the PowerPoint.
The beta submission should include a status update on all of the above activities and the following specific items.
- A complete site that is ready to be demonstrated with the site URL.
- Include the results of two usability tests, i.e., tests involving two different users relevant to your site goals.
- Discuss how you will improve the design based on the usability tests.
Submit the above as a PowerPoint document limited of 5-7 slides. Include the details of the usability tests as an Appendix inside the PowerPoint document. The appendix does not count toward the slide limit.
Final solution submission
Create a Word file that includes the following:
- The URL of the new site.
- A one-page reflection that includes a list and justification of how your site applies the following concepts:
- Knowledge in the head vs. the world
- The due date is before class per the date listed on the schedule.
- Submit the file on OWLbox.
- Some students will be randomly selected to present the project in class.
Status reports in class
You will be asked to provide status updates in class. The status updates are informal and free flowing with no set time length or format. The goal of each status update is to:
- Demonstrate progress
- Get help on problems