The Whitworthian 

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What is the Whitworthian?

TheWhitworthian.com is the daily online source of news and sports coverage for the Whitworth community. The content is generated entirely by students at Whitworth University, and the opinions and ideas expressed on TheWhitworthian.news are those of the individual artists, writers, and student editors. 

 

Situation - Students at Whitworth Univerisity rely on the Whitworthian to know about news and events that are happening on campus. But the prior website was not up to standards by the student body because it lacked a clear way to view articles in a cohesive experience. 

What was wrong with the Whitworthian?

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What were my responsibilities?

 

  • Conducting User Interviews

  • Developing User Case Studies 

  • Creating User Flows

  • Wireframes

  • Prototypes

  • Content Strategy

  • Ad placement

Why was this project different?

This was the first project that helped jumpstart

my way into the UX field. I was working by myself on this project while reporting twice a week to the Copy Editor about the redesign process.

What was my process?

  • Website Analysis

  • Competitive Analysis

  • Screener Survey

  • User Interviews

  • Website Mockups

  • User Testing

  • Develop

  • Meet with Stakeholder

*The list of interviewees is a sample size of 8 out of 24 user interviews. The people in these pictures are stock photos and not actual users.

User Interviews

What were the interviewees like?

Interviews lasted anywhere between 10 - 20 minutes. Users were very open to talking about the website and its faults, as well as their viewing habits. In my interviewing process, I realized how important it would be to not just interview students that visit the website, but the professors and parents who view the website as well.

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How did interviews go?

This was my first time interviewing users. At first, I was timid to ask them questions. But I quickly warmed up when I saw that users were happy to talk about their web browsing habits.

Student User Persona

I gathered all the information from students who use the whitworthians and created a persona based off all of their attributes.

Professor/Parent User Persona

In my interviewing process, I realized that students weren't the only ones who visited the website. College coaches, Professors as well as parents too. Which prompted me to create a Persona for an older demographic.

Data Collection

I created an affinity map of all the information on wants and needs users wanted in an updated version of the website. While also complying with business needs from the media outlet as well.

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What features did I implement in the redesign?

1st Mockup

This was the first finished mockup I came up with based off user needs. I conducted 2 rounds of interviews on invision with wireframes of this version. User satisfaction was lower than expected...

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2nd Mockup

The second mockup was much more modern than the last version. I added a featured story to the front page and created a sidebar that shows a more recent section of the newest articles. I conducted an interview with 3 of the users that were power users of the original website. Users said that they liked the mockup but that there was too much information on the page and that it was cluttered. 

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3rd Mockup

This was my final mockup. I conducted 3 rounds of interviews with power users, New users that haven't visited the site before and the media staff at the Whitworthian. I had the users perform tasks:

1. Scroll through the page

2. Find an article in the Culture Section

3. Read and click and advertisement

4. Locate the Twitter account

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Launching the product

After testing the final design. I presented my information and findings in front of stakeholders and they gave me the okay to implement the changes to the website.

How long did it take to Develop the site?

Development took two weeks.

What were the results Post Redesign?

When the project was finished, the Whitworthian announced the website redesign through a Facebook post on February 27th. That day the website had a Record-Breaking day of user traffic and clicks.

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Reached a Record High 1,070 Unique Visitors the first-week driving site visits up 466.1%.

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How were ad clicks post-redesign?

Advertisement clicks increased by 70% post-redesign, which increased the sponsors and advertisement partnerships.

Did Social media engagement go up?

Social Media followers increased by 15% after linking Instagram and Twitter accounts to the Frontpage.

How did Media and content improve?

Whitworthian Podcasts was searchable through Itunes, Soundcloud, GooglePlay, and Stitcher. 

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This chart shows what devices users visit the Whitworthian.

What does this Information tell us about users post-redesign?

  • Most users access articles through Facebook theFacebook Mobile app 

  • Most users are on the iPhone

  • Desktop is the second most used device to visit the Whitworthian

Can you visit the site right now?

What did I learn from this project?

Yes!

This was my first project as a UX Designer. I had to take the role of  Interaction Designer, User Researcher, Information Architect, Back-end and Front end Development, Advertisement Management & Visual Branding design. This was a very daunting task for a new UX designer. But I enjoyed every minute of the project even when my original design concepts fell flat with users. In the end, I was proud to hear that I did a good job from users and stakeholders alike.  

Feel free to check the site out!

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