As with most sites, acm.org grew over the years. Finally, it needed better navigation and an improved layout. ACM also needed to communicate to members and non-members the great variety of information available.
Senior staff members were pleased with our earlier work, so they asked for help with the reredesign of the corporate site and the design of a new feature with member-specific information: myACM. See other work for ACM.
Bottom line: we met their goals. One usability testing participant said, There’s a lot of good stuff, but stuff that I would not have seen at all [on the old site].
Jump down to see the steps in the design process after these screen shots:
The design process in this project
The design process is flexible and can meet your needs. We used these steps:
We started with an expert reviews of the existing site and an interim design, based on the personas we had developed. (Personas describe typical users and their tasks. Read more about personas.)
A content analysis helped us understand ACM's broad range of information. The analysis showed us that we could create a small number of page templates to support thousands of Web pages.
We worked on a basic interaction model and presented it to the ACM staff for their review. This was an iterative process, with regular reviews.
Interactive prototypes demonstrated the feel as well as the look of the design.
ACM had a visual design firm already engaged, and we worked with them to develop a good visual design model that supports the information hierarchy and helps users find their way.
Usability testing helped us see the site through the eyes of real users, both ACM members and others. Quick refinements to the interaction and visual design models brought us to a point where ACM could start implementing the site. (Read more about usability studies.)
Usability participants worked with wireframes that we turned into a click-through demo with enough functionality to support the study. They also looked at static representations of the visual design. We got excellent feedback on everything from navigation to writing style to the ACM logo. Participants consistently rated the prototype as better than the live site.
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