DESIGNATION: The First Weeks

It has been a busy few weeks. During this phase of DESIGNATION my group was tasked with picking a part of the city of Chicago’s website and come up with a new design. We chose to focus on the business section that deals with learning about and applying for permits and licenses.

From our research we found that even though users can apply for permits and licenses online they choose to go do this in person. No matter what path the user took the experience was very frustrating for them. We did find that people would like to apply and manage permits and licenses online, but they do prefer the trust that interacting with another person brings.

The synthesis process started by diving into our user interviews we had conducted in the first week of this project. We pulled out useful insights that the users had and sorted them into specific categories.

Affinity Diagram for the Chicago Business Microsite

The affinity diagram took a very long time to put together. But this time was well spent as it made the process of creating our user personas much easier. From the personas we created three journey maps to look at how each of our made up users accomplished the task of learning about and applying for a license or permit.

Journey Map for the Eve Persona

The journey maps helped us determine what areas in the current process we could improve upon. Next up was creating our site map, this was probably the most frustrating part of this process. Our group had a difficult time figuring out how we wanted the site organized, the wording for the different categories and keeping within the scope of our project. Our first attempt was very broad and it wasn’t obvious how things connected. One of my team members was able to make some revisions that make the site map much easier to understand in how the different sections flow and connect to one another.

Revised Site Map

Throughout this process, there were some difficulties as we worked as a group but also for me personally. My group works well together but has a tendency to spend too much time on one project leaving less time for others, we wanted everything perfect when it didn’t need to be. Creating the sitemap provided the most frustration as a group. Due to our individual schedules we ran into a bit of a time crunch and could have timed things a bit differently. Personally, I would ask more questions as it It took me awhile to grasp what the journey and site maps should include. So far this has been a very positive learning experience!