Internal UX lead for a Culture Professional website

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.

The old version of Europeana Pro
The old Europeana Pro website before redesign

Card sorting

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 cardsorting exercise to help form the websites IA
Card sorting exercise to help form the IA

User Testing

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.

One of the participants testing the CMS
One of the participants testing the CMS

“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”.

Sitemap

With the Information Architecture in place a sitemap was created. The sitemap also highlights the types of layout for the respective pages.

The sitemap for Europeana Pro
The sitemap for Europeana Pro

Content mapping

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…

Spreadsheet to inform how the pages were put together
Spreadsheet to inform how the pages were put together

… before turning it into a medium fidelity wireframe, and then eventually I created some item types in the CMS for further testing.

Guidelines which were useful for the back end developers
Guidelines useful for the back end developers

The guidelines were created in Axure, and used for testing, and also for the development team.

Medium fidelity CMS guidelines

Prototype

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.

Screenshot from an overview page in the fully clickable prototype
Screenshot from an overview page in the fully clickable prototype
Annotated screenshot from an individual staff members page
Annotated screenshot from an individual staff members page

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.

Presentation

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.

Annotated screenshot from the presentation
Annotated screenshot from the presentation

The full presentation can be seen below.

Launch

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.

Screenshot of the new Europeana Pro website
Screenshot of the new Europeana Pro Home Page
Screenshot of an events page on Europeana Pro
Screenshot of an events page on Europeana Pro
Screenshot of a blog page on Europeana Pro
Screenshot of a blog page on Europeana Pro

Next case study

Research and User Testing an Events platform