Design Planning & User Testing

Acting on the insights and priorities identified in the Discovery phase

The Discovery phase helped us understand the project context, clarify our mission and orientation, and explore ways to meet our goals. The Design Planning and User Testing phase is where we start to get concrete and practical, building out the elements of the user experience on the homepage: the layout and content strategy, the menu structure, the interactive behaviors, and (of course!) the aesthetic. 

At this phase, close collaboration is particularly important:

  • With the help of the Web Services Group, we explore ideas for layout, menu structure, and interactions
  • With the help of Communications and External Relations leadership, we elaborate the content strategy and alignment with overarching communications needs
  • Based on feedback from communicators around the university, we work out a testing plan and identify revisions to our proposed design
  • In order to deliver the project on time, the Web Services Group leads the development of the underlying features we know the homepage will require

As in the Discovery phase, each activity is informed by the preceding steps in the process. The wireframing and content strategy step is based on the outcomes of Discovery; the prototype design is based on the wireframe layouts and the basic design elements; the user testing plan recruits members of the primary audiences to validate the design, content, and usability choices represented in the prototypes. (And, of course, that user feedback will inform the activities to come in the Production phase.)

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