Tiffany Chu Graphic Design Portfolio

Case Study

Yale School Of Arts

Introduction

Yale School of Arts' website is unique in the fact that it is designed to be like a wiki in which various members of the school can publish and share information through the site. The site’s main purpose is to update students with current events and for future students with information about the application and the programs available.

It was intriguing to see a website of an Ivy League school to follow unorthodox methods for a website. The study’s purpose is to be able to analyze the current site, identify the ideal users, and redesign it to reach its goal. In turn, I might be able to evolve as a designer and learn new skills to help me in future case studies.

Role: UI/UX Designer

Software: Photoshop, InVision, InDesign

Research

Challenge

A school website’s main purpose is to inform current or future students about current events, but how can the site go beyond that purpose? How can it cater to future graduates and help them after graduation? What reason would graduates and alumni have to go back to the school website? These questions pose a challenge for a new UX designer, and in this case study, we will be exploring the solutions to this challenge.

Site Analysis

The site analysis helps create an understanding of the site and its features. During the process, I was able to identify pain points of the site which can be further developed during the empathy step in the design process.

MeaningfulWork company flowchart

Empathize

User Persona
MeaningfulWork company flowchart
Task Analysis

The task analysis is to help identify what needs to improve in the website and also show how the user would interact with the site. The chart will have a ranking from highest priority (1) to lowest priority (5) of the user to the task/goal.

After analyzing the Journey Map and Task Analysis, defining the pain points is the next step to be able to create solutions during the prototyping phase.

MeaningfulWork company flowchart
Pain Points
  1. Homepage: The homepage is the first contact to every user who wants to access the information on the website. It creates the first impression that sets the tone for the rest of the user’s experience. The current website’s homepage invokes chaos for the user and creates a very unorganized and unsettling experience. It is difficult to find information, links, and news without having to play “Where’s Waldo”.
  2. Learn More: The Graduate page needs more attention to notify students about the opportunities and benefits it holds. Word of mouth is not enough to bring students to use the page, but a better CTO and banners on the front page and a dedicated page section would benefit not only the students but the traffic on the website.
  3. Making Connections: Creating organic connections is hard, especially online. Developing a comment section and integrating social media into the site, helps students connect with other students and alumni.

Ideate

Low-fidelity Prototypes

Brainstorming for the solutions to the pain points starts with paper prototypes. I focused on the homepage and then the graduate/alumni sections of the website since these would have to be made from scratch.

Design

High-fidelity Prototype

Hi-fi Prototypes are designed with the pain points in focus along with a redesign of the visuals and formatting of the website. The Invision project can allow the user to interact with the high fidelity prototype and comment on anything that should be revised or adjusted.

MeaningfulWork company flowchart

Validate

InVision Test Feedback

The InVision testing helped me gain a better insight into how I could improve the design and whether I was on the right track with my assumptions. Some details in the design that were pointed out during the testing could be cosmetically fixed however, the main features that were implemented couldn’t be thoroughly tested. We were able to solve one of the pain points with the homepage and organize the information to create easier access to information.

Reflection

My experience working on this case study for Yale School of Arts was educational and reminded me of the importance of user-focused design. Considering the project's scope, we were unable to investigate the users' pain points or test our assumptions further. In the process, I learned a lot more about what goes into redesigning a website with a lot of information and implementing new features to a current site. During the research phase, I learned how to process information and implement feedback into revisions.

I enjoyed the design process the most and being able to create a solution for the pain points. Being able to integrate my prototype into Invision and seeing it come to life was a good experience.