Explaining a rework & concept…

I was recently asked to work on a concept for [redacted], to show them the potential of a new design and what a fresh perspective can unearth in their current site. The idea behind this was that for the next meeting, the team would have “ammunition”  to potentially drum up new business. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I thought it might help to explain my process. Because this design could potentially be presented, I needed an effective way of getting across my design decisions, as I might not be there to help the team out. Here’s what I did:

Usability & Design Review, Heuristics

Basically what’s right (not much) and what’s wrong with the current design and usability. I wrote a document for the team to review and giver her some designers thoughts. Some basic points which applied to this particular concept were:

  • What does the site do well?
  • Does it accomplish it’s obvious goals of selling the service to a user of the website?
  • Are Call To Action (CTA) and Unique Selling points (USP) obvious to the user?
  • Can important tasks (such as purchasing) be completed quickly and easily?
  • Can I easily get in touch with a human?
  • How easy is it to find relevant information (search)?

Design and experience review/improvements

  • Define a clear USP section
  • Improve font size considerably.
  • Design and implement a mobile landing page with key telephone numbers giving easy access to users who are looking for help. What are mobile users after? I expect quick access to the telephone numbers (for this particular client) and other key contact information. Users may continue to the main site if requested. The current site that loads on the iPhone (for example) is the same as the desktop version.
  • Implement news and press releases onto the homepage so we can make the brand feel alive and active.

Concept time!

For this particular concept, I decided to implement an annotation idea I had when I was researching at university. People react better to notes directly on an item as it helps them correlate the information, with the actual element on the diagram. A similar idea to PDF comments but more elaborate and prettier. I wanted to get across my design decisions to both the person/team pitching the redesign in addition to helping myself remember myself if/when I came back to the visual design weeks from now.

Using visual queues on a design can help clients understand your thought process. Seeing these directly on the design can help.

You can see from the screenshot above arrows and text directly on the design (with a dark faded overlay to make text easier to read). This illustrates a little personality so if I couldn’t explain the decisions myself, it would look like care and attention has been spent on the design. Not many people understand the intelligence and thought that goes into a design. It’s more than just pretty graphics (sometimes)…

Tried to keep it short and sweet.