At the Learning Technology Service (LTS) at York University, I worked together with another designer to create a new online tool to demonstrate the department’s capabilities to faculty and staff. The project involved our team exploring user-centred design methods to understand what the potential clients, shareholders, and support staff, would need/want from their online service.
My Roles and Responsibilities
I was on a team with another designer, the assistant manager, and the department manager. The designer and I split the duties evenly to allow us both to get experience with the research and the visual design.
When joining the team, the state of the website was incredibly minimalistic to a fault. With limited information being presented, as well as inconsistent interactive elements, the department heads recognized there was room for improvement. They sought out the help from myself and another designer to help them understand what they wanted their website to be, and how we could help them get there.
Our goals for this project were to create a web experience that projects the values of the department, while displaying the resources available to educators.
We our department’s managers for insight on their vision of the new platform. Our goals going into the interviews were: to better understand their idea for how the department should be shown to their clients, as well as determine what their goals would be from the future website.
Manager Interviews Key Takeaways
Our next steps were to empathize with our support staff, and interview them to understand how they currently go through their day-to-day, as well as identify any present frustrations or difficulties in their process.
Staff Interviews Key Takeaways
With this project, we wanted to discover: How might we create an experience that projects the values of the Learning Technology Services, while displaying the resources available to educators.
Before we went to any designing, we went to map out the information architecture. To get a better view on what the department had to offer, we polled our managers for what they currently offer, and what they’d like to offer. With this information, we constructed an open card sorting exercise to organize these services. Organizing the services led to our creation of our information architcture, which in turn informed our plans for our wireframe development.
Card Sorting Exercise
Developing this information architecture happened over a series of iterations. Going back and forth with feedback from low fidelity wireframes helped inform where to land and finalize the information architecture, which is pictured above.
Low Fidelity Wireframes
As we were building out the wireframes, we went through countless iterations of how we wanted to project the new platform. Below are just a few iterations:
While developing the wireframes, we also simultaneously tried to develop the visual style we wanted our final prototype to have. This platform had to live within York Universities existing design guidelines for their website, so we had little space to flex some creativity.