In 2010, I traveled to Ghana and visited Biofilcom, a sanitation start-up that was later awarded a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant. That business and its founder stuck with me, and I promised myself that someday I would make my own contribution to sustainable sanitation. This project was a start.
My goals for the project were:
Assess the usability of their website and discussion forum by testing current users
Recommend improvements to the website to enhance user experience
Suggest potential redesign solutions to address user challenges
I was the sole practitioner on this project, working in consultation with two SuSanA advisors in Australia and the US and eventually with SuSanA's developers in Germany to implement many of my recommendations.
Participants in the usability tests were located in five different countries (UK, Kenya, India, Switzerland, and Germany), resulting in scheduling and internet-connectivity challenges.
Users of the SuSanA website span geographies, languages, technical proficiency, and roles.
1) Conducted extensive research:
expert review of the website
literature review to better understand the domain space
analysis of previous usability study data
usability testing with six participants
2) Designed for desktop and mobile:
redesign of the site's architecture and navigation in Excel
hand-drawn sketches of home page redesign
wireframes in Sketch
clickable prototype of the home page and primary navigation in UXPin
mobile prototypes to solve two major navigation and
Michele understood the challenge -- getting 10,000+ members more involved and interested in using our website... (a professional association). She did a user study with members and quickly turned around the results. We were then even more impressed with the astute recommendations she made. Despite having to deliver bad news about problems with our site, she was masterful in making us hungry to hear more. She was just as personable as she was professional. High recommendations from everyone she worked with here.
Partner, Kellogg Consultants
Key design recommendations included:
integrate Discussion Forum and main site to enhance branding
improve navigation so users can complete tasks more easily
clean up unwieldy site map in footer to reduce user frustration
reconsider ambiguous imagery to better reflect brand and user populations
resolve navigation bars at top to eliminate confusion
reduce number of options on home page to alleviate frustration
reduce clutter to make primary activities more prominent
These recommendations were presented in the form of a research article and a final report.
Michele conducted a usability study for SuSanA...and provided design recommendations to improve our website... I was in awe at how excellent her final report to us was. The clarity of the presentation, the sequencing of the content, the images used, and the recommendations made were all superb. I told my colleagues that her report and supporting documents were 'masterpieces.' Michele did a brilliant job on the project in a rather short timeframe, and I would gladly work with her again.
Elisabeth von Muench
Independent Consultant for SuSanA
Home Page Redesign
1.) Research showed that users have trouble navigating
the SuSanA home page and can't easily find what they
need due to too many choices and a clunky interface.
2.) My initial thumbnail sketches were informed by my
redesign of the site's architecture to create a simpler,
more intuitive user experience with fewer choices.
3.) I expanded on one of the more promising thumbnails
to create a series of hand-drawn wireframes.
4.) Using Sketch, I turned my analog wireframes into
digital ones, then used UXPin to create a clickable
prototype of the home page that offered a cleaner
interface that prominently highlights main categories.