user needs research
I was asked to create an educational website for PetCARE owners. The problem was, the department had been given grant money to build this website, but didn't know what it should contain or even how websites worked. So the project started with my training the staff and in leading interviews to help determine the purpose of the site, whom the users would be, and what the staff expected it to contain.
Because the staff was not technical in nature, I needed to build a site that could be updated by people with know web page creation experience. At the time, my research was on adaptable, automated sites -- sites that would lay themselves out according to the content in them. So, this technology seemed like a great way to go
Once the requirement had been gathered, it was clear that a large amount of information would be made available. After questionnaires and interviews were conducted, scenarios were created to determine how people would be likely to use the site, and the general flow of the site was laid out.
Page prototypes were then created. The subject matter seemed capable of capture a large number of people's interests. And as people love the look of pets, it suggested that large number of pictures would be beneficial. The color scheme was already determined by the business. But within these constraints much was still open in terms of theme and style.
Because at the time when this site was created there was a lack of dynamic web-based technologies; and also because of other requirements of the project, I created a number of Visual Basic forms and executables to provide data input and run the site. The entire site could be regenerated simply by clicking on an icon on the desktop.
As the site was made available to the world, data was collected about usage by two primary sets of users: pet owners and the heads of dog associations. These users were asked to give their general feedback, allowing us to collect qualitative information about what worked about the site and what didn't.
To compliment this data, walkthroughs were performed with users and web analytics were studied to find out how people were using the site, and where they were having problems. This data allowed for improvements of problemed areas