The existing MSU People Finder site (https://search.msu.edu/people/) provides limited information about faculty, staff, students, and retirees at Michigan State University. The results that this search engine provides are not actionable, and it provides only a limited way for people to connect with each other.
To redesign this website, I created a prototype for a mobile application that builds upon the existing search function. The goal for my solution was to be able to provide a channel of communication for people to be able to connect with each other more personally. The existing search engine provides information about location of each person in the system, and I decided to build upon this location information to allow users to find each other and connect.
To begin this process, I started by wireframing screens for the prototype. I tested these sketches with my peers to receive feedback about how they interact with the new system. Once I took all the feedback in to account about how the initial wireframes could be improved, I created a new set of wireframes with improvements.
After the initial low fidelity wireframes were completed and tested, I moved on to testing the interaction of the screens by using notecards that were placed in sequential order of how the screens would progress through the system. I gave users a prompt for each screen such as “Find Bob Brown”, “Where is Bob Brown?”, “Where is the Engineering Building?”, etc. At first, users were not able to find some of the information, such as where the Engineering Building is located, so I changed the language on a few buttons that lead to each screen. The actionable buttons are created with pink sticky notes for consistency.
To highlight interaction with the system, I filmed a user interacting with the screens and responding to each prompt. When the user was able to successfully move through the system by responding to each prompt and finding the correct information, I moved on to creating a digital interactive version of the system.
I used Axure to created a digital interactive version of the prototype. I kept the design as simple and straightforward as possible so that users are able to focus on functionality. I did not want the final design to be cluttered or overly ornate, so I used a clean modern font (Helvetica) and kept the information as the key aspect of each screen.
Link to digital interactive prototype: http://3ok0xb.axshare.com
I also created a video to show interaction as a person moves through each screen on the final prototype.
Iterative design is an ongoing process that requires continuous testing, feedback, refinement, and redesign. Users do not always understand a system the way that a designer intends. It’s important to incorporate feedback in to designs in order to create a document that truly meets people’s needs.