- Workshop Facilitation
- User Experience Design
- Information Architecture
- Me (Strategy, UX and Copywriting)
- Heather (Producer)
- Renee (Designer)
This project was completed under strict NDA. Screenshots, images and identifying information have been intentionally omitted. If you'd like to know more about my work on this project, please email me.
After completing a website redevelopment project with one of Australia's largest and most well known brands, Tundra's reputation for user-focused design and simple, elegant solutions made its way to a smaller team within the organisation.
They reached out to us after having developed an app that helps organisations measure and report on the gender diversity and inclusion of their meetings.
The data it generates is incredibly powerful and gives organisations a wealth of information inidividuals can use to drive powerful and lasting change from the bottom up, rather than the top down.
So what was the problem then?
Launching a website that clearly communicates the product and its benefits to the public, on a tight timeline and on a budget.
In order to achieve the results we were seeking within time and budgetary constraints, we put together a team as lean as possible. Myself (responsible for Planning, Strategy, UX Design and Copywriting), Renee (for UI and Graphic Design) and Heather (our Producer, coordinating with the client and keeping things on time and on budget). Development would then be handled by the client's internal team.
Business and user needs
When we first took the project brief, we had hundreds of questions we knew we'd need answers to. Who is the app actually for? How do they use it? On top of this, we had questions about the business itself. Who are they really? What do they stand for? Do they just make this app, or will there be more?
Stakeholder workshop and desk research
I facilitated a workshop with the organisation's leadership to deeply explore these and many other questions, and to gather their requirements for the website more specifically.
As a very young start-up, getting a great product to market quickly was their primary goal. But ensuring a solid foundation of brand positioning and purpose was going to be vital to our success.
I used the information uncovered in the workshop, a collection of supplied diversity and inclusion desk research, and the client's detailed requirements for the website and distilled this into a set of core messaging statements to guide the site's communications, and a detailed information architecture to shape the high-level experience through the website.
Wireframing and copywriting in parallel
One of the greatest benefits of coming into UX from a copywriting background is the ability to truly start with content in the design process, as well as the ability to pivot quickly on copy or design directions as new ideas present themselves.
Working through each page of the website, I was able to take my core messaging and write a clear, compelling and engaging narrative, while shaping and iterating the design treatment to suit the content as I went.
This was an incredibly dynamic experience, where copy informed optimisation to the design, and design informed optimisation to copy. Being able to do both of these things at once meant we saved time and reduced the risk of something being 'lost in translation' between a Copywriter and UX designer — something we simply couldn't risk.
Presenting the wireframes back to the client was a success. Thanks to the close coupling of copy and design elements to support the overall narrative, we'd landed on exactly what they had envisioned.
Following approval of the copy and wireframes, the final step was to complete high-fidelity design concepts and to create and source graphic assets for use on the website before handing it over to their internal developers. The high fidelity concepts and graphic assets were designed/sourced by our designer Renee.
Within six weeks, the client had the designs for their brand new website and a framework for clearer communication of their product and brand for years to come.
What did I learn?
Working with a start-up racing to launch their product was a new and exciting experience for me.
Interestingly, despite having completed both the copywriting and UX design pieces myself, this project gave me a far greater understanding and appreciation of the things that can often be lost in translation between team members.
In the course of completing those two pieces in parallel, I was constantly aware of the many misinterpretations that could happen as a result of miscommunication (or no communication...) between team members.
This has improved the way I communicate with my team, and the ways in which I help them communicate with one another. I've now always got an ear out, actively guiding and patiently listening to reduce any risk of misinterpretation.
I also gained a lot of confidence. Workshops can be nerve racking, but leading senior stakeholders through deep discussion about the purpose and future of their brand made me realise that my opinion was just as valuable and valued as theirs.
What I'd change
If I could go back in a time machine, I'd actually overshoot and go back to the conception of the app itself. I'd have loved to have been involved in the development of that concept, testing with users and designing an engaging and intuitive experience to drive powerful positive behaviour change.
Failing that, I'd go back to this project and:
- Make the stakeholder workshop twice as long. Availability of senior stakeholders meant we had only two hours to gather detailed requirements for the website and learn as much as we could about the organisation and its product. Given the chance, I'd go back and lock the doors so we could have delved deeper into their purpose, vision and values for longer.
- Test the website with real users. Time and budgetary constraints meant the scope of this project simply couldn't allow for user research. While we're confident with the work we've done (and by all reports it is performing very well), involving real users always results in better work.