One of the first projects I worked on when starting in my position as a Project Officer was a redesign proposal on a government resource site called myEOIS. This project had already been designed and developed. However, the management team in my unit was not satisfied by the user interface design, as well as the usability of the site.
It is difficult to come into a project after so much development has been done on a site. Scratching what you have and starting again is not ideal after 8 months of work had been done on the project (government work moves slow).
However, this allowed for a unique learning opportunity because sometimes as a designer you are not a part of the beginning stage. Catching up on what has been decided, making your own suggestions and immersing yourself into a project is all part of the fun of projects and design.
The reason why myEOIS was started in the first place was due to the multiple channels for Ministry staff and Service Providers (employees who work on the front line interacting with clients at sites such as Colleges, the YMCA, etc) to access resources and information.
Here are two personas I created to help identify the different needs of the users of myEOIS:
My favourite method to use in the discovery phase is Journey Mapping. It allows you to dive into what the user did and how they felt. When beginning the redesign of this project I conducted a journey mapping session to understand how users of the current methods of accessing resources and information felt. This is a journey map of the current process of submitting a ticket to the service desk.
These were the low-fidelity wireframes that I proposed to my management team. Through conducting my own competitive analysis of the navigation of resource heavy sites - I found that a side navigation was the best option for usability.
and there were many many iterations...
THE FINAL OUTCOME
The final outcome was a product that has intuitive usability, a sleek minimal design and meets Ontario’s accessibility standards. A survey was sent out to ministry staff and service providers about their satisfaction with the final product. The product was rated with an “Excellent”.