Long story short: I worked on this site as a part of a hackathon project for Hack for Good DC. I was a part of the team that worked on the UX evaluation and redesign requested by Go Government. I helped contribute to the initial stakeholder discussion and design our team was able to give to Go Government to help start their site re-design.

Process

I worked on this hackathon project as a member of a 9-person team (3 staff members from Go Government, and 6 volunteers). We had about 12 hours across 2 days to help them get the feedback an documentation they’d need to start building the redesign of their site. The main goals the Go Government Staff had were to do a UX evaluation of the site, and to propose a redesign of the main pages and navigation of the site. The site’s front-end developer and content strategist were there to answer questions and make key decisions. There hadn’t been any previous UX research done on the site, but we used their marketing and analytics data as a starting point in our process.

The first step we took was to make proto-personas. We identified the main user groups that would be targeted based on their current marketing data. We asked the GoGov team questions about there’s groups’ motivations and goals, and started to map out key information about each group. The main user group was identified: recent college grads that were considering a career working for the government.

Based on those 4 personas, we created empathy maps. Each of us individually wrote down each of the goals each persona would have when visiting the site. then we posted each of the goals up and grouped similar ones to identify ones that we all thought were important. We then started to map out what content would need to be on the site to address each persona’s needs.

We then used that information to create a revised site map. The goal was to create a site map that users could more easily navigate, and give a better overview of what information is available on the site.

Once we established the proto personas, and a content map for the site, we then started working on wireframes for the main pages of the site. We individually worked on wireframes for the homepage. We then discussed each of our designs and rationale for our designs, and I noted what aspects of each design got positive responses from the group. Based on that list, we collectively created a wireframe for the homepage. We then used that wireframe as a guideline for making the other main pages of the site.

For our final presentation, I created a higher fidelity version of the homepage design we created.

Results

We presented our work at the hackathon, and highlighted the changes that would be made to make the site easier for users to navigate and understand:

  • Create a guided experience for users to follow through the site, and highlight key pages that give an overview of the application process for government jobs.
  • Clearly state the purpose of the site, and the different application processes available for applying for positions.
  • Condense the navigation so that users are not overwhelmed by the amount of information on the site.

Lessons Learned

  • The importance of iteration. Even while working together as a large group with a limited timeframe, we were able to go through and revise the ideas that we had about the content and page layout. Working individually and then collectively discussing our ideas also helped us to achieve the benefits of the iteration process while saving time.
  • The benefits of collaboration, and how to achieve consensus when working as a group. Having key decision-makers contribute during the design process was very important, as well as having team members be able to contribute and take the lead as needed through different steps of the process. It was also a great learning process, where we were all able to learn something new about UX design, and different processes and tools used to create deliverables. Collectively, we were able to give GoGov what they would need to move forward with their redesign, and everyone was able to learn more about UX while contributing their own strengths and skills throughout the process.