You Are Here

Website Redesign for Enhanced Sense of Place

ArcGIS web map

Spreading the word about special places is tricky.

How might we share beautiful locations online now to protect them for the future?

 

GCCHomeScreen on iMac desktop.

OVERVIEW

I was recruited by a land conservancy to update its website for a broader, more inclusive target audience. Attracting new donors would be OK, too.

ROLE

UX research, UX design, UX strategy, Web design

 

METHODS

Competitive Analysis/Feature Comparison, Current & Revised Site Maps, User Interviews, Affinity Mapping, Persona Development, Journey Map, Wireframes, Figma Prototype, Usability Tests

Research content management systems, site design themes, hosting services, page builders, plugins.

CHALLENGE: CHANGING PRIORITIES, MIXED EMOTIONS

Dynamics between virtual and physical space evolved throughout my work. Essentially, I collaborated remotely to design a virtual experience of the spatial and physical nature of a real place to a new online audience.

I also addressed desires of stakeholders who are passionate about their mission as they seek a target audience with no prior knowledge of the organization's work.

First step: create visual sitemaps of the current site and a revised one to help users find information with a streamlined navigation.

 

Current and revised site maps

SiteMap1
SiteMap2

PROCESS: GETTING THE LAY OF THE LAND

A competitive analysis and feature comparison yielded valuable data:

  • Key features of comparable organizations
  • What's missing from the client's current site
  • Opportunities to improve on competitors' features

Feature comparison

Screen-Shot-2020-11-29-at-4.48.33-PM

User data was collected from usability tests and interviews of 8 individuals, age 40 - 70+, who lived on or visited the California coast. All had contributed to environmental groups. All preferred simple design and succinct text.

  • 6 of 8 wanted to see younger people, more diversity in images.
  • 6 of 8 wanted to learn about past achievements.
  • 6 of 8 wanted information about the organization’s financial integrity.
  • 5 of 8 wanted to learn what GCC is doing now.
  • 5 of 8 wanted to know how their donation will be used.
  • 4 of 8 wanted information about upcoming events, including hikes.

"I expect information to be easy to find and read."

Clear priorities and trends emerged from the data.

Insights-to-Features

The persona and their journey map, both of which embody qualities emerging from the research data, focused subsequent design decisions on solving the user's problems rather than on any individual's personal tastes. 

 

Persona
Journey-Map

Prototype

After reporting on my UX research and design, I was asked to complete the new site's web design. I researched hosting services, themes, page builders, and plugins, selecting platforms and tools that are easy to maintain going forward. I then shared this research with staff. I also liaised with photographers and other organizations for new content.

The initial redesign of the organization's website enables stakeholders to embrace a new, scalable user experience. Visual design of the main site mirrors that of the related story map.

GCCHome

NEXT STEPS

  • Add video: donor testimonials, drone footage of Gaviota Coast.
  • Replace heron photo with interactive ArcGIS web map for richer  context and location.
  • Collect data for infographics on achievements and goals.
  • Modify animation in story map.

LEARNINGS

Communication and clarity of roles and expectations are critical, especially in remote work.

My training as a digital archivist helped me to understand and respect intellectual property and ownership practices of indigenous cultures.

It also helped me to help stakeholders understand that websites are dynamic spaces that evolve as user needs change and grow.

People are passionate about physical places, moreso as we work remotely. We need to honor those feelings and offer paths to explore new territories.

© 2021 Jacqueline Rider

In-White-34@2x
IG_Glyph_Fill