Corporate site redesign

A process case study

Step One - Requirements Capture

Brainstorm

The first thing that I did was get all the major stakeholders together and we brainstormed what the requirements for the new corporate site would be.

I asked questions like:

  • Who is the audience?
  • Who are the competition?
  • What is the main function of the website?
  • What is the key message?
  • What is the one thing that you want users to remember about the site?
  • What is the tone?
  • What are the main areas of the website?
  • What other information should be included?
  • What actions would you like users to take during or after their visit?

There were many answers to these questions which we tried to prioritise as Essential, important and nice to have. Most of the time I just listened and took notes clarifying points when needed and summing up to ensure that we were all clear and in agreement as to what was being said.

Once the brainstorming session was completed I emailed all who attended summing up what was said. We exchanged a few messages clarifying the odd point then reached an agreement that all were happy with.

I then produced this Brainstorm Cloud to illustrate what we had agreed upon.

Brainstorm Cloud
 

Personas

One of the questions asked in the Brainstorming session was Who is the audience? I used the answers to this to create some persona's

Persona example 1 Persona example 2 Persona example 3
 

Taxonomy

We felt that visitors to the website would have varying levels of technical knowledge and that some would be less time rich than others so the key messages needed to be expressed in different levels of detail:

  • Elevator pitch for the potential investor or CEO who just wanted a quick overview before passing the site on to the Commercial Director or Business Development department for further investigation.
  • Detailed overview aimed at the Director of Marketing, Commercial Director or Business Development department.
  • Technical detail for the CTO of a potential business partner, potential employees and any of the other two groups who have more time or were interested in digging deeper.

I drew up this diagram to help visualise this concept.

Website Remit

The website also had one key aim to get potential investors and business partners to contact the site.

Website Remit
 

Site-map

The next logical step was to create a site map to show how all this could work and how the Hierarchy of the site would fit together.

site map

During the creation of all of the above elements I worked closely with the company writer to ensure that we both had the copy needed to inform and populate the site and that it matched the tone that he aspired to. All these elements were put together into a PDF and emailed to all stake holders to evaluate. We then held a meeting to discuss the PDF and made some amends before we progressed to building Wire frames.

 

Design

Wire Frames

I had established the overall shape of the site, who would be using it and what they would be using it for. I then had to think about how the information would be displayed and how the user would navigate from page to page. I wrote some user stories to get me started. Here is an example of one:

  • As a potential investor
  • I want to easily find more information than an elevator pitch
  • So that I can better understand what it is the company does

Armed with the Brainstorming Cloud and notes from the session, the site map, Taxonomy, Personas, user stories and a first draft of copy for the site, I started to make wire frames of the key pages.

Many different variations were explored a few of which are shown here.

wire frame 1 wire frame 2 wire frame 3
 

Treatments

The more successful wire frames were worked up into treatments.

treatment 1 treatment 2 treatment 3
 

Build

All of these requirements were put together into a pdf to form a requirements document. The build is ongoing.

To be continued...