Skip to main content
Viewing all | Show filter panel
iPhone customers are customers for life. Right? Well, no, of course not. We all know that the Next Big Thing will come sweeping along to steal our hearts and minds (and slip its fingers into our wallets while we’re dizzy with infatuation). But, even if we tell ourselves we don't really believe in the unassailable strength of iPhone loyalty, many of us in the biz keep operating under the assumption that iPhone users are Committed (with a capital C), and that only extreme incentive will be sufficient to get them to switch to a new platform.
So...exactly how much incentive is sufficient incentive? And, what form should it take?
Our client came to us with a Big Question: What does it take to get someone to switch smartphone platforms? (e.g. iPhone to Android)
The answers to those questions come through innovation insights. The way to innovation insights is through research. At ADGi we don’t rely on “Aha!” moments. We engage in structured, reliable methods to gather clear, actionable evidence. We recently applied this very approach to the above questions on a project for a global electronics manufacturer. The client asked us to help them better understand consumers’ initial experience when setting up a new smartphone, within the context of their existing tech ecosystem. When we discussed the best approach for this, we quickly recognized an opportunity for Lasagne Research.
A good lasagne is all about the layers. And so is a good foray into innovation. When we layer multiple research methods onto the questions before us, we accomplish two goals: we find converging evidence that gives us confidence in our conclusions, and we cover the gaps.
Through very close collaboration with the client, we arrived at the following layers for the questions around what it’s like for consumers to move a new smartphone platform:
Layer 1: Conduct site visits with an emphasis on contextual inquiry, rather than out-of-the-box and setup evaluations.
The goal: Understand participants’ usage context, both physical, as well as motivational. In other words, what are they currently doing, where, and why?
Layer 2: Track usage behaviors, perceptions of quality, and measures of satisfaction, at regular intervals, over the course of several weeks.
The goal: Gather behavioral and attitudinal data, and determine what explains any observed changes. Do attitudes drive behaviors, or vice-versa?
Layer 3: Conduct closing interviews to drill deeply into the data gathered during several weeks of initial experience.
The goal: Validate conclusions, and identify any unanticipated factors not accounted for during the first two layers. Why did they say what they said? Why did they do what they did?
Taken together, these layers produced a clear picture of consumers’ ecosystems, and the bearing it has on smartphone usage. With it, we were able to deliver expert analysis and commentary on the factors that contribute to, or interfere with, smartphone adoption.
In the end, our client gained a clear understanding of how ecosystem influences platform loyalty, and new platform conversion and device adoption rates. But, more importantly, they gained a set of broader insights that feed directly into their innovation strategy
Designers speak their own language. That’s what Vickie Sullivan, an internationally recognized top market strategist for experts, found out when she embarked on a redesign of her website in 2012. After working with two different designers she was still not satisfied with her new website. She knew what she wanted but she didn’t have the right language to talk to the designers, and they were not asking the right questions to interpret her needs. She turned to Analytic Design Group Inc. (ADGi) for help and asked us to create a digital experience that matched her high-value/high-impact service.
“When I saw the prototype, I almost cried. I couldn’t believe the difference. ADGi created a visceral experience of my impact. No design firm has ever understood my brand like they have nor brought that brand to life. The feedback has been incredible. Folks who haven’t met me yet are impressed enough to reach out. They are amazing!”
Yes, we’re designers, but at ADGi, we know how to ask the right questions to truly understand what a client requires. The first thing we did was meet with Vickie to understand the key needs for her digital presence and to learn what wasn't working on the newly designed website. We asked questions first and then reviewed the site's visual design, layout, and structure, as well as the overall experience.
"When I came to ADGi, I was in bad shape. I had blown my schedule and my budget on two other designers who talked a good game but didn’t deliver. I was exhausted, cranky and not ready for any high-drama ‘collaboration’ for yet another revamp. ADGi had one shot here. If they couldn’t dazzle me the first time out, I was going to abandon the project altogether." Vickie said.
Vickie’s original site, SullivanSpeaker.com, had a “techie”, under-emphasized look and was not doing a great job representing Vickie or the services she offered.
“When clients would apologize for the site when referring me to their colleagues, I knew this revamp had to be a top priority. And it had to be perfect because I don’t have time to reinvent my brand every two years.” Explained Vickie.
The first redesign was a step in the right direction as it identified Vickie’s main target audiences, highlighted her services, and made use of the effective content already written. The problem was that the website, through the use of stock photography, a generic layout, and an unsophisticated visual design, made it seem more like she was selling a cheap product than thoughtful, personalized services. The website didn’t convey Vickie’s brand or offer a unique experience. The images and words could be swapped out for someone else and the site would be the same.
“These designers put me in the same box with the rest of their clients. They weren’t clear on the nuances of my strategy and frankly, really didn’t understand my business. I knew something was off but I didn’t know how to articulate my hunch. With ADGi, I didn’t have to. They knew exactly what was wrong and more importantly, how to fix it. I didn’t have to tell them what to do. I didn’t have to babysit them.” Vickie said.
The new design was a complete re-envisioning of the homepage. The strategy was to draw people into the website to learn how Vickie Sullivan could make them more effective professional speakers, thought leaders, or B2B service firms. To do that we:
“When I saw the prototype, I almost cried. I couldn’t believe the difference. ADGi created a visceral experience of my impact. No design firm has ever understood my brand like they have nor brought that brand to life. The feedback has been incredible. Folks who haven’t met me yet are impressed enough to reach out. They are amazing!”
We also ensured that the website was viewable on different devices, ranging from smartphones and tablets to desktop computers, by using a responsive design. Instead of just designing the website and hoping that it worked on different devices, we carefully crafted a unique experience for smartphones, and tweaked the primary design so that it was viewable on the most common screen resolutions. By using a responsive design, we could ensure that Vickie’s website was viewable by a wide range of people.
By asking the right questions and really listening to our client, we were able to translate Vickie’s needs into a compelling website experience that not only draws people to her services but effectively promotes Vickie Sullivan as a high-powered professional.
Looking for innovation opportunities, a mobile client came to us wanting to understand how their product ranked against three competitors in terms of performance, usability, and desirability and over several different types of users. What seems to be on the surface a simple request, how do we compare against these other three devices, is actually very complex if you want quantifiable measures and not just anecdotal comments. Furthermore the study had very tight timeline and budgetary constraints.
One of the key insights was not only how the product ranked relative to their competition, but also the size of the gap, and why. This helped our client prioritize issues and ensured that their finite design and development resources were focused on the highest impact areas.
The big challenges in trying to quantifiably compare one product with three others are:
In other words, we couldn’t have participants use just one product, and we couldn’t have them use all four of the products: we had to find another approach.
Working with the client, we came up with a creative solution to address the issues. We developed a study design where we would recruit participants who already owned one of the four products that were being researched. Then each of these participants would test two other products in the study. What this achieved is that participants only worked with two new products in the study, but because they were already familiar with the one they owned they could in effect compare three.
Using this approach gave the client more competitive data while still ensuring that they could capture the deep insights that come from a detailed comparison of only a few items (no product fatigue). As well, we also removed the positive bias issue which can happen when participants are asked to rate their experience with a device independently, no comparisons, during a usability study.
One of the key insights that we were able to provide with this study design was a sense of not only how our client’s product ranked relative to their competition, but also the size of the gap as well. The process of assigning the ranking was:
Perhaps more importantly, we were also able to provide insights into why participants ranked the products in the way that they did. When participants use only one product they can explain where they have difficulty but often struggle to provide detail about what caused their issue or suggestions on how it could be improved for their use. When participants can evaluate similar products together, the type and quality of the feedback changes significantly. In the study participants were able to talk in great detail about the various designs, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each, and how they could be changed to make the product more effective overall.
By surfacing these ‘whys’ of the rankings, the specific areas of improvements were pinpointed and ranked, which helped our client prioritize design issues and ensured that their finite design and development resources were focused on the highest impact areas.
A mobile company had developed a web-based tool to help its customers transition from feature phones to smartphones or to help them quickly and easily set up a new smartphone. It was fairly well received by users from certain segments who liked its easy-to-use interface and that it made initial setup easier, but they also let the company know they would prefer it if the tool was smartphone-based and not just computer-based.
Usability testing is only one tool in a very big tool box. Don't waste your research dollars by picking the wrong tool.
While the feedback to move to a smartphone-based tool was valuable, the company was unclear about why customers were asking for this. A driving assumption with the original web-based design had been that the ease of typing on a computer keyboard, the far easier setup flow, combined with significantly greater computing power on a computer would offset customers desire to start interacting with their smartphone right away. In an effort to get at the 'whys' the company reached out to ADGi to conduct a usability study. The key questions were:
The client was expecting think-aloud protocol, task-based analysis, gathering both quantitative data (eg. time on task, performance scores) and qualitative data (user response to each interface, etc). While we could have driven some useful insights using this typical usability testing approach, we felt strongly that we could drive more value out of the study and get richer data using a product comparison approach. Knowing the client preferred in-lab studies and was very interested in understanding how users would respond to each interface, we proposed an in-lab product comparison study that allowed us to assess both what product users preferred and why, as well as identify usability issues with both versions.
The benefit of going with this approach was that we were able to get at the more tactical usability issues as well as the more strategic comparative findings. We had participants looking at both products in one session rather than separate studies of each product. In this way we were able to determine if users would prefer one product over the other and under what conditions.
As expected, the outcomes of the study were very rich. We learned:
A key strategic finding of the study was that the context of the product matters a great deal in terms of the users’ expectations. For instance, users’ expectations of what they should be able to do on the web-based product were very different from their expectations for what they should be able to do on the smartphone-based product. Further, they judged satisfaction and performance of each tool on the basis of their expectations. So while the interactions and flow were very similar on each tool, because the expectations were different, the perceptions were also very different. This strategic finding will drive development for both products for quite some time.
By understanding the research goals, client needs and operational constraints you can deliver far more value, gain pivotal insights, and more effectively drive product development.
A mobile phone carrier was experiencing high return rates and customer care calls for a new device. They had heard that we had a great deal of experience testing mobile devices and contacted us to see if we could do a usability test on the device that was giving them the trouble. After listening to their story about the device, the complex issues they were facing, comparing that to what we know about how such devices perform in usability tests, we advised the client that the insights they would gain in usability testing would only partially solve their problem. To really understand why people are calling customer care or giving up and returning the device, we needed to understand the context in which people are using the device, making field research the better approach given the situation.
Our client was extremely happy with the results of the study. We were able to offer both strategic and tactical recommendations that they believe will reduce care calls and product returns as well as improve the user experience.
Before starting the project, we spent time learning what the client already knew about the problem. They knew the device setup was complex and the data they had regarding the issue didn’t point to anything specific. Without a deeper understanding of the problem, they knew they would just be shooting in the dark. This understanding had to be both tactical and strategic, facilitating quick fixes for immediate improvement while providing strategic insight that could guide future product development.
Field research would allow us to observe people setting up a device in the context of where it would be used and provide insight into the “end to end experience” from opening the box to using the device. The client was very interested in the approach, but had heard that field research was expensive and time consuming. They had a tight timeline and a limited budget. By carefully managing the number of participants, scheduling and incentives, we were able to design a field study that could be conducted within their timeline, and although somewhat more expensive than a usability study, still within their budget.
Understanding the out of box experience meant finding people who had purchased the device but hadn’t set it up. Essentially, we needed to recruit at the point of purchase. Working with the client, we developed a new recruiting process that allowed us to effectively recruit the people for the study with minimal impact on the retail sales process.
When we contacted the participants to schedule the visit, we made sure we could visit them in the location where they would be setting up the device - at home, at work, or on the road. Observing in context is extremely important. This helps the observer see the context of use, but it allows the participant to see and comment on the environment around them as opposed to having to recall things from memory as they do in a lab study. This results in richer feedback when compared to traditional usability studies. To understand the purchase motivations, product knowledge and expected use, we started each visit with an informal interview. When the customer was ready to set up the device, we simply observed, noting problems including web searches and calls to customer support.
After setup was complete, we clarified any issues we observed during set up and asked for their feedback on the process and suggestions for improvement.
The analysis led to valuable insights regarding user expectations and behaviors. The research revealed usability issues with the device, but also showed that there were bigger issues that were likely leading to the returns. The sales experience, customer support and product perception appeared to be the primary drivers. With this knowledge, the client realized they needed to look beyond the device usability and address the problem more holistically. As the product team worked to fix the usability problems, additional teams were formed to address issues with the sales experience and customer support.
Had the client stayed with the original plan to conduct a usability study, they would have identified product usability issues and gained some strategic product insight, but they would have not seen the issues that were likely the primary drivers of returns and customer care calls. They would have improved the device, only to find the problem still remained. It would have taken additional time and resources to uncover the real problem.
Understanding the broader picture was especially helpful for this client as a key part of their brand is customer service. They pride themselves on high customer satisfaction. The field research helped them see beyond the device and understand the broader context of the customer experience as it applied across products. Although the field research was more expensive than the usability study, the value it provided easily outweighed the additional cost of the research.
B2ten, a privately funded organization that contributes to amateur sport and the community, was planning to create an online resource to help parents enable their children to become physically active and physically literate. The idea was to create an e-zine (online magazine) aimed at higher income parents that delivered the message about physical literacy. It would be self sustaining because the target market would be very attractive to advertisers.
Doing an ethnography helped B2ten consider how their digital product would be received by their customers as well as identify innovation opportunities.
The ultimate goal for the project was to reduce the rate of obesity in children and, in the long-term, adults by following the following rationale:
Before launching into designing this e-zine, we recommended doing some user research to get a clear picture of how such a digital product would fit into these people’s lives. We wanted to better understand:
We recommended an ethnography in people’s homes focused around the planning and scheduling of physical activity. Because there were two assumed segments, we suggested we complete site visits in 8 homes for each segment for a total of 16 site visits.
We learned a great deal on those site visits, most surprisingly for us:
We went into the research with some assumptions about parents' attitudes as well as an idea about the strategic direction for the online resource. While we confirmed several of our assumptions, we needed to realign our views on others. Based on the research, we modified the strategy for the online resource and aligned it with the target audiences' needs. We presented this modified approach to our client in January 2012.
The City of Vancouver had completed a strategic plan and was proposing a major redesign of their public website. Anxious to ensure that the usability and accessibility of the new site was both assured and verified by an independent, expert, and impartial source, they contracted Analytic Design Group to conduct a two phase usability and accessibility review.
Public Service Websites Have an Extra Burden of Usability and Accessibility
In the first phase, we conducted an expert review and a manual accessibility review using their paper prototypes.
After that, once their pilot site was built incorporating the recommendations from the first phase, we conducted:
24 participants, recruited from a broad range of users, evaluated the pilot site in one-on-one usability test sessions. The focus of the testing was on the general usability of the website’s design and participants were asked to complete tasks that would be typical for a general audience as we were interested in assuring the usability of the site as a whole for a wide range of users.
For the usability testing we collected:
The Key Findings
Overall, we provided over 50 detailed, actionable recommendations from the usability testing.
Among the key findings for the site were:
In the accessbility testing we highlighted the violations in every key page of the pilot site, and provided examples of each type of violation and recommendations on how to fix the problem. As an automated tool was employed, we were able to show the total number of violations per page as well as provide our analysis and recommendations of the violation type.
Among the key findings for accessibility on the site were:
ADGi is frequently hired to conduct Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE) Tests for various mobile devices, including smartphones, data cards, and tablets. We use a rigorous testing approach, reporting on how usable the device is and how enjoyable it is to use. On average, ADGi conducts 25 to 30 studies a year making recommendations for improving both the hardware and software being used during the tests. Clients include: AT&T, Dell, HP, HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Option Wireless, Palm, Pantech, Research In Motion (RIM), Samsung, Sierra Wireless, and Sony Ericsson.
ADGi conducts 25 to 30 OOBE studies a year for clients like AT&T, Samsung, LG, and HTC.
When you are building one of the most innovative and high performance buildings in North America, you need a cutting edge online digital strategy to match. The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) was in that position in late 2010. With their new building opening in the fall of 2011, they needed a digital roadmap fast so asked Analytic Design Group Inc. (ADGi) to develop the strategy and design.
When you are building one of the most innovative and high performance buildings in North America, you need a cutting edge online digital strategy to match.
In January 2011, ADGi conducted a visioning workshop or charrette with the project’s many stakeholders. The charrette drove out the business and user requirements in an intensive one day participatory co-design session. Following the charrette we documented a consolidated vision and user experience strategy for designing the new CIRS online presence. We also developed a longer term roadmap for future phases of the site, so that it would elegantly accommodate new data as new systems come online at CIRS.
With the strategy in place, we designed the website through a series of co-design workshops with stakeholders where we would develop a ‘straw-man’ design and then review it with the team. We made sure that the right stakeholders were present at each session and guided the discussion to drive consensus among the varying views.
After talking with stakeholders it became clear that the CIRS website couldn’t be limited to a website with some social networking elements and exposed data, but must become a ‘digital ecosystem’ that leveraged the data and experience at CIRS.
CIRS needed to focus on showcasing the building and the research done there, promoting sustainability, and encouraging people to learn and replicate what CIRS had done. The website had to support the goal of accelerating sustainability.
One of the key design elements in the new website is the ‘relationship finder’ on the homepage. Not only does it allow people to find information quickly from the four areas of the site (Building, Research, Community, About), it highlights the relationships between people, the research, and the building.
The website also features detailed information about the building, its design and operation. We designed a ‘building explorer’ that will eventually showcase real-time data being recorded by the building so researchers from around the globe can monitor its performance.
CIRS is showcasing its leading-edge research on the site, and is growing a community of researchers, industry practitioners, and inhabitants in order to foster the sharing of experiences and ideas among the larger community.
Through the use of hands-on co-design workshops, ADGi was able to build consensus among academic and industry stakeholders. Our process ensured the new site supported CIRS goal of accelerating sustainability by allowing people to learn about the CIRS experience, dialogue with key researchers in the field, showcase other similar projects, and support the research being conducted at the centre.
In June 2011, ADGi reviewed a prototype of the Healthy Schools Portal (HSP), a new website that is a partnership between DASH BC and the Ministries of Health and Education. The site is designed to provide a one-stop online platform with coordinated and consistent information about resources and programs about Healthy Living for students of all ages and a tool for those building healthy schools to network and communicate with each other.
ADGi reviewed the prototype for both user experience and usability issues and then presented the findings to DASH BC. The main recommendation was to create a single directory of programs and resources that could be searched and filtered by category and location.
"Thank you ADGi for your contribution to the advancement of the Healthy Schools Portal. Your process was thorough and efficient and helped us more effectively keep the user’s experience in mind through the development process."
During April/May 2011, ADGi reviewed nine literacy websites owned by Literacy BC and the literacy department of 2010 Legacies Now and developed a solution (new website structure and layout) for merging the content and functionality from these websites together. The new website for Decoda Literacy Solutions, B.C.'s new provincial literacy organization, supports the work being done by literacy groups and community partners throughout the province.
BeeOnTime is a project time tracking app for Android mobile phones and tablets that aims to increase the ease with which billable time can be captured. In March 2011, ADGi provided interaction design guidance, a full visual design (including Android format graphics), and cross-platform planning guidance for BeeOnTime.
BeeOnTime is available for free in the Android Market.
"I am thrilled with the work Antek has done. Not only does the interface give the app a professional look, it also helps me remove extraneous features in the app's UI layout configurations."
The lead developer at Commercan wanted an application that would help him to easily keep track of his billable hours by project and client. Desktop solutions were impractical and he found that he was waiting until the end of each week to collect up the time. This process was time consuming and error prone. Not finding an application that met his needs, he created a vision for his own and BeeOnTime was born.
BeeOnTime is a time tracking app designed to help you quickly track the time you spend on a project whenever and wherever you are. Instead of waiting for your computer to load or your time sheet document to open, BeeOnTime lets you track project time when you only have a minute to do so. You can track time for any project and any client in one place. BeeOnTime is able to export the time sheet for a specific time period to a spreadsheet format and deliver it to an email address. Commercan understood how important the user experience is to the success of mobile applications and contacted Analytic Design Group for help.
ADGi provided a number of services including a usability assessment, interaction design guidance, the visual design, and advice regarding user interface portability between platforms.
Playing on the "Bee" in the BeeOnTime name, ADGi suggested a honeycomb style and colour scheme. The application colours, the button icons, and the application icons were all custom created by the ADGi team. User interface elements were delivered in the specific Android format that specifies how the image is to scale in each dimension.
ADGi performed a usability assessment of the application and found several small usability issues. For example, while it was a design goal of BeeOnTime to enable the quick and easy capture of time "in the moment", the initial application required a project code to be used when entering time. ADGi recommended that a plain language project name be used instead with a project code being optional data. ADGi provided annotated wireframes to detail the proposed interaction design. Before presentation to Commercan, the basic layout was loaded onto an actual Android device to ensure that the design was easy to interact with on screen.
Other guidance provided by ADGi included advice on how to ensure a user experience that would be portable between devices. As an example, ADGi demonstrated how the calendar functionality of BeeOnTime could be modified to not only make a great Android user interface but also one that could be easily migrated to the iPhone or iPad. While the user experience should always be tailored to the user and the task at hand, our extensive experience testing smart-devices provides us with unique insight into which designs work well with all interfaces.
CGA-Canada contacted ADGi in late 2009 to conduct an online navigation testing study, using our NavTester tool, of the current site navigation for their public site, CGA-Canada.org.
CGA-Canada's web team thought that the navigation structure could use a redesign, through both anecdotal evidence and their own assessment of the site, but they lacked information about where and how to change the site structure. ADGi tested the current structure using our NavTester tool with over 200 users. From that test we were able to assess the problem areas of the site and provide recommendations for change.
ADGi then conducted more research with the different audiences of CGA-Canada.org by running 4 focus groups in January 2011. Each focus group had 3 to 5 participants from different regions in Canada. CGA-Canada used the results from both the navigation testing and the focus groups to help build their business case for projects that they anticipate doing in the future.
Focused Navigation Testing pinpoints findability issues for diverse audience types
In Fall 2010, ADGi created a concept for a new intranet for the University of British Columbia's IT department. Through the use of interviews and other forms of user research, we discovered that employees were having difficulty keeping track of teams, projects, and services offered by the department. Our solution allowed easy access to all three, and ensured that there was cross-referencing among them.
We delivered an information architecture and concept design wireframes for the website.
A client of ours, a global leader in mobile devices, was interested in trying out a new concept on a culturally diverse audience. Instead of traveling to a number of countries and incurring a lot of travel and facility costs, ADGi recommended that we conduct the testing in our own facility and leverage the incredibly diverse population that is readily available in Vancouver.
The client accepted our suggestion and in late fall of 2010, we tested a new navigation concept on 25 participants, having them complete a number of tasks on no less than 5 mobile devices.
The project was intensive as there were easily 200 to 300 data points per participant, the tasks we were observing took mere seconds, and we were working with prototype devices in some cases, making definitive observation difficult at times.
In spite of the challenges, the testing was a huge success. We were able to give the client some clear findings about the concept they were testing, offer a very detailed set of observations on related issues, and because of the diversity of the participants, we felt confident the findings would be relevant in a number of markets.
We were able to give the client some clear findings about the concept they were testing.
The BC Cancer Agency has an information-rich website that is used by cancer patients, members of the public, and health professionals from around the world. The BC Cancer Agency turned to ADGi to help redesign their website to accommodate these different audiences. We discovered that people were needing to go to separate areas of the website to find all the information on cancer topics and recommended combining the information together.
ADGi gathered requirements, conducted user research, and provided a detailed design blueprint in April 2010.
"Thanks ADGi. Excellent work."
Lunapads needed a more robust eCommerce model to better serve their growing customer base. ADGi completed user research which led to a website redesign including a specific focus on the product page and better integration of Tips & Advice content throughout the site. Activities included usability testing and detailed interaction design wireframes. Graphic design was supplied by Raised Eyebrow. The site was launched in April 2010.
"Thanks so much to all of you for your fantastic help in making our new site happen."
Lunapads is a vertically integrated manufacturer and web retailer of natural menstrual products. They primarily sell online through their website to an international clientele, with their primary market being individual women in the United States. As typical of most web retailers, the majority of visitors to their website are browsers/prospective customers and their conversion rate is approximately the industry average.
Lunapads hired ADGi to conduct user research, via a usability study, to find out what customers needed from the site and to suggest recommendations for a redesign of their website.
Twelve women were interviewed, each in an individual session with an ADGi facilitator, some online using an online meeting tool and some via face-to-face sessions at the ADGi office.
The women were given a set number of tasks to complete; however, much of the study was focused on understanding the underlying reasons and motivations for these users to get at the core reasons for why the conversions were not higher.
Based on the user research, ADGi then redesigned the Lunapads website.
Customers needed more details about products to help them make the decision to buy. We designed a more informative product page that included good quality images and details about using the products. We also included better integration of Tips & Advice content throughout the site, and surfaced customer reviews. This helped people feel more comfortable about switching to natural menstrual products.
The site was launched in April 2010.
AT&T's Certified Solutions Catalog is an online catalog of business applications that run on mobile devices and computers. ADGi was hired to create a new design for the catalog to increase ease of use for the large collection of applications. ADGi analyzed the existing site first by doing an expert review and then by doing navigation testing using our Navtester tool. From that research, we then developed the design, including a powerful search tool that allowed customers to quickly find applications. The new site was launched in Spring 2010.
Early in 2010, TransLink created an informational website aimed at residents, businesses, and visitors in the lower mainland for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
TransLink contracted ADGi to provide an expert review and usability recommendations for the TravelSmart 2010 site.
ADGi designed the transit alert registration system for TransLink, the transit authority in Greater Vancouver. This tool allows people to sign up for transit alerts and receive the notifications by email or phone. The application launched in Fall 2009.
ADGi was hired to redesign the BC Centre for Disease Control's website. The work included requirements gathering, information architecture and navigation testing, detailed interaction design, and technical architecture/implementation advice.
Graphic design was done by Raised Eyebrow.
The new site, www.bccdc.ca, was launched in June 2009.
People can find information quickly no matter what path they use to navigate the site.
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) provides provincial and national leadership in public health through surveillance, detection, treatment, prevention and consultation services.
BCCDC’s website contains rich information but over time had become difficult to navigate and out-of-date. The site also serves diverse audiences: both the public for information on public health and health professionals needing forms and other tools. The site was not serving either audience effectively and was in need of an overhaul.
BCCDC hired ADGi to create a blueprint for a redesigned site that would include a new site structure and details on how users would navigate through the site.
For the first stage of the project, we developed the IA and then validated it with the three target audiences for the site: members of the public, health professionals, and the media. Using our online navigation testing tool, Navtester, we conducted three rounds of testing and refined the IA between each iteration.
We then created the redesign blueprint showing the new information architecture and site layout.
For the final site we had 7 main topical categories and all information related to a particular topic was found together. We also provided two alternative ways to navigate to content: resource pages and audience pages. As all the content was cross-referenced, people could find information quickly no matter what path they used to navigate the site.
The first version of the IA that we tested was organized by either audience (general public, health professionals) or type of resource (publications, research, news). We discovered during the first iteration of testing that users did not easily identify with their audience.
We then moved to a topic based information architecture and began consolidating all information about a given topic together. If a user goes to a particular disease page, for example, the section not only contains an overview but all related statistics, research, and news. The results in the navigation testing improved.
We also provided two alternative ways to navigate to content: resource pages and audience pages. The resource pages allow users to find content based on type of resource while the audience pages provide content of interest to particular groups.
ADGi evaluated and redesigned a suite of transit trip planning tools for TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority. The enhanced trip planning tools were released in the fall of 2009.
Usability testing is a powerful tool to build a business case for change.
TransLink is the transportation authority for the Lower Mainland of BC. They have had a trip planner (an application that allows users to enter their origin and destination to search for the best way to travel by transit) on their website for several years. Because the application was provided by a third party, TransLink had never conducted any research on the app.
After reviewing the app, we had recommendations on how it could be changed based on best practices and good design thinking. We thought that if TransLink could see the experience from their customers' point of view there would be more support for making recommended changes, so we recommended doing usability testing.
After conducting usability testing on the app, we presented the results using video clips of real customers interacting with it. Apart from the usability issues we confirmed during testing, one of the key insights we were able to share with TransLink was that customers (rightfully) saw the app as being TransLink's property and the usability issues of the app were not only inhibiting transit use, but they were negatively affecting customer perception of TransLink. It was this that helped the team at TransLink persuade senior staff to invest in making changes.
Follow up usability testing (after making the changes we recommended) indicated that customers are much happier with the tool now and the changes are helping to support a more positive view of taking transit as well as TransLink itself.
ADGi developed the information architecture for a redesigned website for TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority. The redesigned site launched in April 2009.
Iterative testing allowed us to create an evidence-based site structure that met the needs of the diverse audiences.
TransLink engaged ADGi to create a new information architecture (IA) for their website. The overall objective was to design a new user-centric IA that supported the existing content and allowed for planned growth.
TransLink has a market research department that has done extensive research into the habits and preferences of the website users, and they have developed an active online focus group panel, called TransLink Listens, whom they survey often for opinions and attitudes.
ADGi reviewed the user research that TransLink had already done and reviewed the existing site's content and structure. Then ADGi proposed a new site structure, which we validated by doing iterative online navigation testing with members of the TransLinks Listens panel.
This iterative testing allowed ADGi to create an evidence-based site structure that met the needs of the diverse users of the TransLink website.
We provided quick access to transit information such as schedules, fares, passes, and trip planning tools, as well as promoted other forms of transportation.
ADGi created a detailed site map for TransLink, that they were able to hand over to their development partner to create the new site. TransLink launched their redesigned website in April 2009.
In early 2009, ADGi developed a new information architecture and interaction design for an extranet used by early hearing screeners, audiologists, speech pathologists, and other early hearing specialists across BC. We also did usability testing of the wireframes and provided detailed implementation notes for the development team. The new site, which is being migrated to Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server, will be launched in 2011.
2010 Legacies Now hired ADGi to develop the web strategy and to redesign the SportFit Canada website. The work included user experience analysis, detailed interaction design, and management of the project from design through implementation. The new site was launched in Fall 2008.
Our approach to this redesign was based on two key concepts: simplicity and surfacing key interactions. SportFit should be as easy as 1-2-3.
SportFit Canada runs a highly successful school-based program aimed at getting kids to be active. The program’s success largely rests on the efforts of the program manager who spends a great deal of time working with schools to organize events and get schools and teachers involved.
ADGi was initially invited to complete an expert review of the existing site. Based on our findings 2010 Legacies Now was able to support the argument for a budget to complete a full-scale redesign.
The Solution - Surface the Interaction
Before the redesign, the site was an excellent example of a collection of good ideas that were cobbled together without much in the way of planning or user research. All of the important information and interactions on the site were buried two or three links deep. While the application logic behind it was solid, and the idea of finding sports for kids based on current fitness levels and interests was excellent, the site was hard to navigate and hard to use.
Our approach to this redesign was based on two key concepts:
Based on these two key concepts we developed this wireframe for the redesigned home page. It uses the concept that SportFit is as “easy as 1-2-3” and then describes the site and it’s main interaction in three key areas of the home page.
Using the wireframe as a foundation, our designer created this design concept.
The redesigned site was launched in Fall of 2008.
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) selected ADGi to develop a blueprint for their intranet redesign project. The work included extensive user research and profiling, strategy development and detailed information and interaction design. The blueprint was completed March 2008 and the redesigned intranet launched in October 2008.
"Karyn and her team at Analytic Design were a pleasure to work with and provided a useful, creative solution to a complex content problem on our corporate intranet. They were dedicated, professional and a great value."
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) operates nine provincial agencies, including BC Children's Hospital and the BC Cancer Agency. It is also responsible for specialized provincial health services like trauma, telehealth and thoracic surgery. On a province-wide basis, PHSA plans, coordinates and evaluates specialized health services and works with the other health authorities to provide equitable, cost-effective healthcare.
PHSA had an employee intranet that was in need of an overhaul, and hired ADGi to help create a blueprint for a redesigned site. The work included extensive user research and profiling, strategy development, and detailed information and interaction design.
For the first phase of this project we conducted user and stakeholder interviews. The aim was to understand what key tasks users needed to complete in a given day/week/month and how they went about their information retrieval. Based on the research, a content audit, and data review (PHSA had conducted a user survey prior to this project), ADGi developed a strategy document with recommendations for the redesign.
Next we developed the information architecture. Findability on the site was a key issue identified during the user research, so we used our proprietary testing tool, NavTester, to conduct iterative navigation testing of the site to ensure that the right structure was developed. Thanks to internal recruitment and promotion, the response rate to each iteration was over 30%, far above typical response rates to surveys.
We then created the site map and wireframes for the redesign.
The resulting design had 15 topic areas. A ‘Yahoo-like’ index on the home page was unusual and broke the 7 plus or minus 2 rule: it is assumed that people cannot remember more than 7 items at a given time and navigation structures should have no more than 9 top-level categories. The navigation testing we did showed that users were able to find the information, quickly and easily even with 15 top-level categories.
The strategy, sitemap, and wireframes were received with very positive feedback from the PHSA team and project sponsors.
PHSA launched their redesigned intranet, using ADGi’s design approach, in November 2008.
Tourism BC hired ADGi to create a master information architecture for Tourism BC's hellobc.com regional Asian sites based on the IA used for the North American site. The IA was designed so that it could be used in whole or in part by the various regional sites.
ADGi was then also contracted to provide the project management for the content translation and migration for many of their regional sites: Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, France.
For this project ADGi worked in partnership with emplus communications and Engine Digital. ADGi lead the development of the site concept and approach and created the information architecture for this unique site.
The solution needed to be bold and creative yet not flashy. It needed to stay within the character of the firm (high integrity, confident, casual, yet somewhat conservative) but also speak to the new branding.
The need for redesign stemmed from a number of business drivers for dys architecture: they had recently added several partners to the management of the firm; they had moved to new larger offices; and they had undertaken a new marketing initiative to re-brand and re-focus the firm. To properly reflect all of these changes, they decided to redesign their site.
ADGi was invited to work on this project as a part of a virtual studio with emplus communications (who completed the visual design work) and Engine Digital (who completed the code development and CMS work).
After initial client meetings and a presentation by the market research firm, we determined that:
In discussing the priorities and what we knew of user needs we knew we had to focus on the portfolio. We also knew we needed a means to highlight the story behind the facts, without getting in the way of the facts and the traditional way that architects discuss their projects. The solution needed to be bold and creative yet not flashy. It needed to stay within the character of the firm (high integrity, confident, casual, yet somewhat conservative) but also speak to the new branding.
To bring all of these pieces together the solution provides a flat, matrix-driven structure rather than the typical hierarchical structure. After typing in the URL users are taken immediately to a page highlighting a specific project. From this page, the user can then navigate through other projects in similar categories or can go to a project index page, that shows thumbnails of all of the projects and also allows the user to filter projects by criteria such as Location and Completion. The site went live late in 2007, and is still in use today.
ADGi worked with Austdone Gallery, a specialist in native art, to develop this online art gallery. The results for the owner of having this site have been a significant increase in sales as well as a growth in his stable of artists. He is using the site to promote the art, list special events, and to grow a community of native art collectors. His client list has nearly doubled since the launch of the site.