Achieve Australia — Website Redesign Project
Achieve Australia is a NDIS registered for-purpose community organisation that delivers expert disability support services to people with disability in New South Wales Australia. As a part of their website redesign and rebuilt project, I joined the organisation as a UX Designer Intern in January 2021. Later on in March, I joined the team as a part-time Jr. UX Designer. And it was an absolute pleasure working with the team and especially with my design lead Peter Franc who guided my throughout my journey.
I am writing this article to highlight a few of my roles and responsibilities that I completed throughout the project.
Please note that the points below are not the entire UX Process we followed but only the parts I was involved in.
1. Comparative Analysis
During the early stages of the project, I was assigned to perform a comparative analysis to gain insight on what our competitors were doing in their website and identify their strength and weaknesses. A total of 8 direct competitors were listed to perform the comparative analysis. Some of them were already known to our organisation whereas some were new. All the websites were analysed to identify what worked well in their website and what did not work. The document was later used to create the product strategy for our website.
Along with the analysis, I also created a library with screenshots of some of the interesting and useful components from the competitor’s site. The library consisted of components from competitor’s website such as headers, banners, content blocks, drop-down menus etc. The library was later used to take reference and inspiration while creating our own website.
2. User Persona
Our research team had interviewed different people from 3 cohort i.e. Support Coordinator, Supported Employee and Parents. The team also generated a report based on the findings from the interview. Using the report and the data from the interview, I was assigned to create a persona for each cohort. Each persona consisted of a short bio, their behaviour, touchpoint and the pain point from the persona’s perspective while using the website. These personas were used throughout the design process to build empathy with our end users, assist in making design decisions and create a deeper understanding of the needs of our target audience.
3. User Journey Map
Another artefact we created during the early discovery stage of the project was to create user journey maps. User journey map was created to visualise the interaction process of our users and undertand the experience from their point of view. At first, my design lead Peter created 5 main goals/scopes that our 3 personas will try to achieve while using our website. A goal might be specific to only one persona or multiple personas. My role here was to visualise the steps that a persona needs to take to achieve it’s goal. The journey map was useful to tell of the steps in the journey was understandable and made sense, to find alternatives and shortcuts, and to check that the number of steps to reach the goal is not too long.
We started creating wireframes in the develop phase of the design process. While my design lead Peter took over the responsibility on working on most of the wireframes, I was also asigned to create a few by myself. We used these wireframes to demonstrate our design and content idea to the stakeholders. We gathered suggestions and feedback from our stakeholders using wireframes in the early stage of design process. These feedback were used to update our design and create necessary improvements. Below is an example of wireframe I created for “The Sewing Basket” page in the Achieve Australia Website.
Once the wireframes were finalised, I also created high fidelity prototypes for the wireframes I designed. A final wireframe meant that the content placeholder of the webpage were set. The next step was to put in correct content in their place, use correct font style, font colour, images and icons etc. Content were provided by a team of content writers, the font styles and colours were picked from the design system created by the team lead. A pool of imagery was also provided to us by the stakeholders.
Another responsibility handed to me was to design icons for the website. All the icons used in the website were custom designed. We were aiming for icons that were more that oversimplified yet not too overcomplicated with too many details. We wanted our icons to be somewhere in-between. The icons were designed in Figma itself as the our aim of creating simple icons did not require sophisticated tool such as Illustrator.
This was my first ever UX Project in Australia, Hurray! I am extremely grateful to have an opportunity to complete entire UX process and learn what it is acutally like in the real world. As I am writing this article, we have finished the design of the website. The developer team are currently working on it and are planning to launch it soon. On that note, here are a few key things I learned:
Iterate as much as you can: In the early discovery stages we explored so many different styles and layouts for the website. And although all of them did not make it to the final design, what I learnt was to keep my mind open because a design doesn’t fail, it shows us a way that doesn’t work.
Communication is the key: To be honest, I found it difficult to communicate with my team in the beginning. I was still a student who was working part-time with a team of highly skilled people and I was also the only international employee which made me feel even more intimidating to communicate. But my friendly team helped me to feel at home. Later I learnt that for a designer, it is vital to be able to communicate and explain his work clearly and convincingly with the team and the stakeholders.
Ask for feedback: At times I found myself detached form the team and lost in my own bubble of work. Woking alone from home in isolation might also have added extra boost to this issue. My design lead would be busy with juggling between 100 tasks and would not always remember to check in on me. During this project I learned that it is alright and in fact important to tap my seniors on their shoulders (figuratively since we were working from home) and ask for feedback on your work once a while, especially when you are feeling lost.
Remember to detach: I learned that sometimes we designers find ourselves so much attached to our work to we forget to make room for new ideas or thoughts. Detaching myself from the work, zooming out, and taking a look at the bigger picture has helped me to explore new ideas and increase productivity.