Exceptional Creative Achievement Organization

The Exceptional Creative Achievement Organization (ECAO) is a creative agency aimed at connecting clients with creative consultants. Working as a freelance designer for the organization, I performed updates and redesigns to client websites before redesigning the ECAO website itself. Working in a 3-person team of MSIM students at the University of Washington, I led the stakeholder interviews, heuristic evaluations and design documentation of our findings. Separately, I individually implemented our findings in the visual design and development of the redesigned website.
HEURISTIC EVALUATION, STAKEHOLDER INTERVIEWS, VISUAL DESIGN, WEB DEVELOPMENT

ECAO

THE CHALLENGE

Webpage Redesign for Consultancy

MY ROLE

UX Designer, Web Developer

THE SOLUTION

Responsive Design, Wordpress Theme Development, PHP, jQuery

Stakeholder Interviews

To begin our user research, I led a stakeholder interview with the founder and Executive Director of the ECAO, Dr. Vernon Neppe. From our conversations, we learned that the purpose of the site was built around connecting clients with ECAO consultants, and that his ultimate goal was to create a members area where sponsors have access to a list of members and their professional information.

Design Process

Mapping out our design process, we anticipated moving from divergent processes like stakeholder interviews and user personas to convergent processes where we hone in on the heuristics and task-centered walkthrough. From our convergent processes we were able to assemble our design documentation and prepare for the next steps of implementation.

Heuristic Evaluation

Conducting a series of heuristic evaluations on the ECAO website as part of accredited UX scholar David Hendry's class on Design Methods for Interactive Systems, our usability problem analysis revealed a textbook case of why small groups of heuristic evaluators are the most cost-effective way to identify the majority of usability problems.

Task Description

Interpreting the results from our heuristic evaluation, we approached developing solutions by identifying a task with a description, fleshing out the scenarios associated with the tasks, and developing a profile of the type of user who would be attempting the task. This allowed us to objectively assess the challenges and opportunities for resolving the task.

Light Implementation

Before going ahead with the full website overhaul, I deployed a light implementation of our findings. As heuristic evaluators found the information architecture of the site confusing, I reorganized the pages listed on the top navigation and created an additional sidebar navigation to help give visitors a sense of where best to learn more. I turned text highlights used to attract information to certain topics into a typographic hierarchy, and I also implemented a color scheme prescribed by one of my team members.

Content Inventory, Interaction Design

To redevelop and optimize the information architecture of the site, I first took a content inventory of all the pages, determining which ones were included in duplicate in the navigation. Additionally, implementation of the client/member relationship required developing the interaction design of the added pages that weren't included on the original site.

Visual Design, Development & Deployment

Developing a custom WordPress template for the full ECAO redesign, I created a series of PHP pages that would be called by the homepage and single page templates, with loops to dynamically populate the pages' contents. Using a mobile-first responsive design strategy, I created a top-nav ribbon that contained the navigation menu. Rather than bombarding users with all of the pages at once, the homepage directs users on a pathway to the three most important functions of the site: information about the organization on an "About" page, information on becoming a client or consultant member, and a link to the portal for existing clients to browse members.

Visit the Exceptional Creative Achievement Organization website at ECAO.us.