what is it?
The Centre for Community Partnership is known for providing U of T students alternative ways to get involved in the community. The organization wanted a website that better aligned with their goal of connecting undergraduate students to community initiatives around the city.
The overall challenge is to redesign the student user website to meet their goals.
While CCP was really great at maintaining loyalty and creating deep connections for the already initiated students, they had a hard time reaching out to new students. The website revamp was part of a larger strategy to improve CCP’s services.
We zeroed in on the redesign process focusing on the why and how: Why is the student facing website not working? How should the redesign look like?
To get the answers we were looking for, we developed business and user assumptions, and a set of hypothesis to help give direction to our work. Then we got connected to the users using various research methodologies to come up a solution.
Interviews: We got to intimately know the main users, the frontline workers at CCP, and the kind of U of T students that CCP wants to reach.
Participant-Observation: We observed how CCP builds relationships with students by participating in their community outreach events and feedback sessions. There, we learned about students’ impression of the organization and their services and built a better rapport with the workers and students.
Surveys: We gathered data on the website itself, asking about students’ overall impressions, its successes, the pain points and users’ tricks to get around these.
Heuristic Evaluation: In tandem with the findings from the survey, we evaluated its information architecture particularly navigation and searchability. We found labels and information hierarchy as the main issue.
Card Sorting: We gathered students unfamiliar with CCP and began a conversation around their website labels. We let them dictate what should be used, eliminated the ones that were not intuitive and broke down ones that were too loaded.
Task Analysis: Based on feedback from experienced users we prioritized three tasks and asked non-experienced users to do it for us. As they shared their walk through process, we discovered what was confusing, what worked, their unexpected approaches and their overall impression.
From the data we gathered and through the experience shared with us, we prepared a “Student User Experience Map”, a version of a Customer Journey Map to help support the service changes that the Centre for Community Partnership wants to go through. This visual document became an important asset to stakeholder meetings.
Aesthetically, the map captured the look and feel the students expressed when they talked about their experience with CCP. While the work they did with the community was serious, the feelings of fun, energetic, lively and youthfulness students brought to the space. CCP gives them space to grow without letting the seriousness of their work weight them down.
Our design sprints included presenting 6 different version of the same page and collectively deciding what design choices made sense for our vision of the new pages. In short, we took a democratic approach giving an opportunity for all members of our team to participate.
From the sketches to the final prototype, we iterated and tweaked the design.
Problem: The homepage is prime real estate but the current design did not take advantage of this. The information provided were meant for experienced users.
Solution: We cleaned up the information hierarchy and brought in information that were friendly to both first time visitors and experienced visitors
Problem: In the current version, no such page exist but one of the major feedback from our survey and interviews was a wish to have a page that lists all of the volunteer activities and programs.
Solution: We listened to the users and created one! Browsing through the multiple existing program pages, we took information most important to users: what’s it’s about, how long and when it will happen. This made it easier to search and choose what’s right for them.