Building capability in user-centred design for the web
VO2 is a fast-growing web design and development firm. Since the inception of the company in 2006, the number one goal has been to deliver high-performing websites for their clients. Website design and development forms part of a complete suite of web solutions available to VO2 clients. Also on offer are services in browser testing, mobile marketing, ecommerce, SEO and iPhone apps.
VO2 was growing quickly, and the marketplace was becoming busier. They wanted to ensure they could continue to provide a multi-faceted service that gave them an edge over competitors and produced the best possible results for clients.
Applying user-centred design to web design and development
As VO2 is in the business of design, we recommended boosting capability in user-centred design. This design approach would complement the staff’s technical skills well.
Working with VO2’s director, we designed and delivered a learning workshop; User-Centred Design Basics and the Persona Tool. The workshop covered the theory behind user-centred design and its application to electronic interfaces. It included:
- user-centred design as a mindset, process and toolkit
- what a user-centred web project might look like
- the persona tool and how to use it in web design and development.
Learning by doing
After covering the concepts and theory behind user-centred design, we took VO2 staff through a hands-on exercise.
We had them develop personas for typical users of a fictional e-commerce interface. Based on a back story and the experiences of each of these users, VO2 staff developed a persona in relation to the fictitious interface. These personas helped identify how the interface would need to work for each of the users, in order for it to be useful and useable for them.
Workshop participants gained a good understanding of user-centred design and specifically, the persona tool. They had a lot of fun practicing developing and using personas.
The team at VO2 now have a new, user-driven tool to apply to the process of designing and development for web based interfaces.