NYC.gov has an events section all across the five boroughs. The events section aims to allow residents to pursue cultural enrichment and ways to engage with the community.
The goal was to expand NYC.gov's functionality to allow the user to interact with events. They would also want constituents to be able to browse events relevant to them more engagingly.
January, 2020 to May, 2020
We conducted a 1:1 interview with our users, which consisted of questions about their typical week and lifestyle. Along with the personal interview, there was also a Contextual inquiry where our user had to complete a given task/prompt.
Objective of User Research -
To gain insight into how and why users engage with their community and what mediums lead them to it.
Robert is a Digital Director from Austria currently residing in New York City. He loves to spend quality time with his wife and always looks forward to multi-cultural events in the city.
We had to determine what problems the users could face and what opportunities we might have for them within the website. Some of the possible options we thought of from this exercise are listed below -
We created a low-fidelity prototype to be tested by our users. We gave tasks to each user to find out their thoughts and tested this low-fidelity prototype, which resulted in a variety of findings.
Each one of us observed 2 participants during the tree test. We collected data from 17 total participants, and we gave three tasks to the user to understand their thought process and how they navigated through the website.
Tasks included -
Tree test led to many new insights about the users and how their flow is through the website. From the findings of the tree test, we analyzed them and worked on structuring the content for the website.
I decided to work on the event page, as it was a perfect opportunity for me to rework this page and provide more meaningful information.
To accomplish the goals, I selected a few design principles. These design principles made sure that the whole website revolves around that theme. These design principles were Clean, Fast, and Smooth.
The aim with this was to -
There is only one way a user could navigate to other events pages. With this, the users are not overwhelmed with too many options. One of the ways was to look for similar events just below the main event.
This feature gives the user to search for similar events without navigating through the search bar. It is only one click away to look for events within the same category.
Users often forget about the events once they leave the website. This feature allows users to add any event to their calendar.
This feature will remind the user about the event just a day before the actual date. This way, the users can stay committed to the events of their interest.
We learned that users' friends mostly invited them to an event. It was a need to create a shareable link for an event on social media platforms.
This feature makes it one click away to share any event on any social media platform the users prefer.
After finalizing the content and structure, it was essential to make the website aesthetically pleasing. It was also crucial to reflect all our findings, design goals, and design principles.
I decided final design for the event page that was aesthetically good and presented all the information rightly.
Blue is the dominating color for the whole website as it evokes a sense of honesty and trust in the user’s mind. The primary buttons are blue so that they could stand out from the secondary buttons.
Throughout the website, there is a presence of rounded rectangles as they feel more human. Round rectangles forms also give a friendly trait to the whole website.
Large images are an excellent way to catch any user’s attention. Using images also generate a sense of trust among the users, as an event with images looks more trustworthy than an event with no images.
There is also a verification mark for the organizers who nyc.gov has verified. Users can often get confused between what is false and what is right on a website, and thus I added these features to the final screen.
It was challenging to follow the process, as many times, we make assumptions about our users. This misjudgment can lead to many inappropriate and wrong decisions. I believe that one should never underestimate the importance of research in any project. In this project, it was good to see how each step of the process was valuable and helpful for the other one. We later used findings and insights from the research to redesign the event section for NYC.gov.
The possible next steps for this project would be to accommodate the final design onto the mobile screens. We can also think of ways through which NYC.gov can become the primary source for all users to search for events. Expanding the project's scope can make the whole website more seamless by keeping a consistent design and visual language.
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