My responsibilities included:
GANGA ONLINE LIBRARY - A three day project!
Ganga is an up to date source of all Nobel Prize laureates, providing access to information about the prizewinners’ biography and work, encouraging students and literature lovers to research and write articles revolving the subject.
The original website was built on the go, ignoring any internal structure or hierarchy. As a result, the user had to go through all the different lists and pages in order to discover what the website offers: Titles and categories in complete disorder. The user has no sense of orientation nor a chance for navigating without getting lost.
Like a thorough re-order of a drawer of socks, the first step was to take everything out, list every item in the website, ignoring its original category. Some topics were already titled and some were renamed anew, in order to distinguish them from one another. Lists with similar logic were united or re-grouped.
Working with the library remotely and in opposite hours, I wrote a questionnaire to the library’s curator, where I could get some background on the goals and vision of the product. The user's pain points were clear, as the website was a complete mess, but I was interested in hearing his perspective.
Users vary between children, students, professors, and non-academic audiences; the users include all ages and backgrounds. Literature and science lovers are visiting often and they are the library’s biggest donors.
"What makes this library special is that it wishes to encourage the visitors to get involved, and offers various ways to do it."
We set together two main goals to be achieved in the next three days, though we only had the capacity to work on one:
- Restructure the home page, make it accessible and friendly
- Emphasize the volunteer possibilities
* The latter would be worked on later, by another designer
Having the idea in mind that the home page will be the prominent container of all the information, I made several sketches to see what the possibilities are. Considering the stake holders interview, I had to have in mind that the design should be some what traditional
First mockup and usability testing
Having the new design mocked up, I grabbed some friends and family for usability testing: They were given a simple scenario in which they had to navigate through diferent pages, and complete a few small tasks.
"The size of the chips makes me mistake it for a button, and after a long day looking at charts I have difficulty seeing which amount belongs to which axis. I need the axis labels to be constantly visible"
This works well
The navigation itself, that was the biggest pain point of this site, proved to be working as expected: all the users knew where they are in any given place, know how to go back and navigate to a similar place with in the same category. This was something that even I found challenging in the original design.
This does not work well
1. How can I browse by gender? By age?
2. Users try to click the header to get the person's displayed on it.
3. The About section is full of uninteresting information, no one seems to be interested in reading it all.
4. When writing an essay - who is it sent to, what kind of feedback to I get?
Will it be published in the library’s website?
Will my name as the essay's writer be public?