After being tasked with redesigning the Surveying and Mapping Programs’ website in Fall 2019, the following spring brought an interesting surprise. Enrolled in the following semester I greeted many familiar faces Monday (what I considered to be early) morning.
Drawn to the people I had already known and met, we claimed the comfortable and familiar back corner. Though our Professor was not a surprise, as we knew who would be teaching the class and had met with him or had already taken classes from him, the project we were tasked with for the semester, was.
After acknowledging that a few in the class had worked on the redesign of the Surveying and Mapping webpage, it was made clear that we hadn’t exactly created a polished enough project to be able to submit to the Web Devs at UVU.
We were now tasked to take the best parts from the previous semesters 3 groups and create something that not only looked good and meet the expectations of the Stakeholder but also stays within the current UVU style guide (which wasn’t exactly required for the previous semester).
After meeting with the head of the Program and understanding more what he felt we could have improved on, we began to sift through all the assets of the other two groups and Piecing together what we thought would be the best things taken from all of the other groups. The problem that we came to, was that even though some of the groups hit it out of the park on certain features, none of them were up to par for what the stakeholder wanted.
All the groups have gotten away from what the initial goal was of the class. We had so much freedom in the fall to create something that was good for our portfolios, we didn’t exactly do you what the stakeholder had asked us to do or give him what he wanted. it also didn’t help that a lot of assets were unavailable in the fall and we received a lot of pictures and new information that we had to incorporate in the already finished designs.
Scrapping the “Home Page”
We spent most of the beginning of the semester coming up with things that we thought were innovative features we could include in the site. A huge overhaul ended up taking place where we changed a lot. We scrapped the overlayed buttons because we realized that a lot of people that we had test the prototype, didn’t notice that they were actually buttons. Scrapping them all together and replacing them with more useful information and not having to click one extra button, made for a much better experience.
Home screens are meant to have some of the most important that is shared and is often the first and last thing that people will see. The whole point of the assignment was to bring more students to the Surveying and Mapping program.
We felt like a lot of key information was lost among other pages. Information that potential students would want to see, was not front and center like Dan had asked for. We decided to go with a more uniform color scheme that wasn’t just the normal color scheme. Our thought process was that if we can stand out in any sort of way, we can get that much more attention, just by being different from the start.
Luckily for us, because of the nature of the program, they have a lot of really high-resolution photos that lead to a super good home page photo that would get a lot of attention. We also made it a huge point to include information that we thought would be really valuable to students like the kind of salary that they could expect once they graduate, the length of the different degrees and certifications, and the average class sizes that could provide a more personal education.
Other than the “home page” redesign that was needed, not many other changes were needed. We did make some menu changes because of issues with the previously designed menu not being completely clear on what content would be found if you clicked on it. Changes in headers, subheaders, and fonts were also needed in order to comply with UVU standards for what they have set already for all the other parts of the overall website.
Was it an Improvement?
I am actually super happy with what my team member and I came up with during this semester. We felt pretty discouraged in the beginning because we had not wanted to work on the same project again for a whole semester. I am much prouder of the part 2 redesign than I was on our first design. I think it shows a much greater understanding of the task at hand and has much more of a professional feel to the whole design. Hopefully, the team decides to use it.
Link to the Prototype: https://xd.adobe.com/view/6469cfb0-28aa-4ffa-bb9e-38800037ff86-313a/