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UPA 2009

 

New UPA Web Site Coming Soon

Amanda Nance

Amanda Nance serves as the Director of Web (2007 - 2009) on the UPA Board of Directors. She also conducts user research for accounting software at Sage in Lawrenceville, GA, USA.

UPA's web site will have a new look and feel in the next two to three months, and this article explains the goals and process of the redesign. The new look and feel is just one part of a long-term project to improve the user experience of the UPA web site.

We welcome your feedback on the new design! Please email your comments to webmaster@usabilityprofessionals.org. We plan to conduct more formal user research over the next few years as we continue to make site improvements.

Goals of the redesign

Because UPA's mission is to improve user experience, we should obviously provide an exceptional user experience on our own web site! You've given us feedback to say that our web site needs some improvements, so we followed a user-centered design process to redesign the site. The redesign plan includes both short-term and long-term goals for doing this. In particular, we wanted to:

  • Ensure accessibility to all users
  • Modernize the visual design
  • Improve users' ability to find the information they need
  • Foster collaboration and a sense of community among UPA members
  • Meet the needs of international users
  • Create a more consistent experience between UPA's multiple web sites (for example, the conference site, World Usability Day, and Body of Knowledge)
  • Improve the web site maintenance process

Process of the redesign

We used a user-centered design process and several professional groups to develop the vision, design, and implementation of our new site.

  • Clearleft designed the new experience; this includes recommending a general approach for the site as well as creating wireframes, visual designs, and XHTML templates (which put into practice their expertise in web accessibility). They completed these activities after interviewing UPA members, reviewing data about users and the site's usability, creating personas, and analyzing the existing site and the sites of similar organizations.
  • Mad*Pow conducted a usability test of the early wireframes and visual compositions to help us improve the design.
  • UPA board and staff provided feedback throughout the project to ensure that it followed a user-centered process and that the result met both user needs and organizational goals. Board members also gathered feedback from users, analyzed data about the site's usage, and recommended a new technical platform.
  • ImageX Media implemented the site templates in our chosen Content Management System (Drupal) and set up the technical infrastructure to make the site function. The CMS will make it much easier for UPA staff and volunteers to update the site more regularly.

We'd like to thank all of those groups for assisting us with improving the user experience of our web site.

Final thoughts

Migrating a site to a new platform takes time, so not all of the old site content will be available immediately. However, a group of volunteers is working to migrate content as quickly as possible, and we welcome additional volunteers. To volunteer, please contact webmaster@usabilityprofessionals.org.

 

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