Europeana provides access to over 40 million items from galleries, libraries, archives and museums around Europe. Europeana Pro was a legacy product which was in need to a full redesign.
Working with Nexum (part of the FatDUX network), I assisted in various areas, and lead others, primarily doing a card sorting exercise, CMS research & user testing, content mapping, interaction design, and working with another colleague on the sitemap.
To assist Nexum with the Information Architecture I ran some cardsorting exercises on internal stakeholders, and members of the network to help with not only defining the IA, but also to help give some understanding to the user journey.
A huge problem with the previous version of Europeana Pro was that it was not designed for the content creator, and we didn’t want the same mistakes to follow over into the new version. I installed a local copy of the chosen CMS to test, and created some sample scenarios to perform tasks such as creating a blog post, and adding a job. The results were wholly positive.
“I found it easy, the first time you can’t find everything. I don’t have the feeling it is complicated. It makes sense”.
“I like it [adding posts] to be as simple as possible, and this looks like it”.
With the Information Architecture in place a sitemap was created. The sitemap also highlights the types of layout for the respective pages.
This document was created for the benefit of both designers and developers to see how things would look in the front end, and how to put them together in the back end.
I first documented this in a spreadsheet…
… before turning it into a medium fidelity wireframe, and then eventually I created some item types in the CMS for further testing.
The guidelines were created in Axure, and used for testing, and also for the development team.
With the initial wireframes being supplied by Nexum, I was able to build the site up into a clickable prototype, which was used for further testing.
For more, take a look at the clickable prototype.
I also created prototypes to show various interactions that would take place, for example what would happen on a long read.
The Events section was one area that underwent a greater change, and this led to some internal concerns internally. I explained the benefits and logic behind the switch from large standalone websites, to more streamlined contextual blocks of content, in this presentation.
The full presentation can be seen below.
The Europeana Pro website was launched in February 2015, and it received very positive feedback, not only on the aesthetics, but the ease of use. Although the amount of visitors is not an important KPI to measure, there has been a steady increase in this metric, and it is hoped that their positive comments reflect on the end of year satisfaction rating.