ILC Iron and Steel — UX Research, Information Architecture and UI Design
The Case study was inferred after thorough investigative research of the company’s operations and the steel plant’s technical details. Research insights, design process, user testing, and photography were all included in the process of creating the website from scratch.
- To improve the company’s discoverability, both in the digital and analogue world
- To increase leads and build trust
- To reduce the number of brokers, the company’s main way of promoting the business
My Role — UX designer, UX researcher
Team — Saiakhil Kovvur, popfizsdesign
Timeline — October — November 2019
Tools — Figma, Miro
Research — Field visits, Stakeholder Interviews, Target Audience, Current Discoverability, Task analysis, Surveys, Competitive analysis
Insights — Conclusion from surveys, Personas, How Might We’s
Design — User flow, Sitemap, Wireframes, Prototype
India’s steel industry is divided into primary and secondary markets. ILC is currently in the secondary producer industry so the focus is within that. ILC currently produces Sponge iron and is planning to produce Billets, TMT bars, and Wire rods.
To understand what we’re creating, we need to go the roots of where it all began. My research partner travelled to the steel plant to understand how the industry and its operations work.
Our first impression of the site visit was rather a good one. It turned out that they were surrounded by thousands of trees. We found out that the company has planted around 2,000 trees to combat air pollution.
We have also conducted an initial interview with the CEO in order to understand the company’s goals for the website.
Current marketing strategy — Brokers. The broker is responsible for linking the vendor and the buyer and also carrying out business between them. The broker assures the vendor about the financial stability of the buyer, which is an important aspect to consider before selling the product.
Proposed marketing strategy — It is of our opinion based on research to reduce the number of brokers. We believe this would cut down broker commissions and increase the company’s net profits and also decrease third party dependability and accountability. We also suggest focusing on organic growth using digital marketing (SEO, Direct traffic and referral site).
The company also mentioned that their primary goal is to land a government project in the near future.
The questions were mainly:
- What matters to your customers when they’re looking for Sponge iron or Billets?
- What happens after they buy products? Describe the process in detail.
- How is your product better or different from the competitors’?
The current target audience is Rolling Mills, Civil engineers and construction companies in South India. Another target is to land government projects.
I found that the discoverability of the company in the digital world is very limited. ILC is mainly found in —
https://www.tradeindia.com — features concise description of ILC and their contact
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com — features a concise description, the current stakeholder and their assets.
Based on the data we collected through field visits and stakeholder interviews, we created a task analysis to better understand our users’ pain points when trusting ILC for their Sponge iron and Billets. Here is a summary of the analysis:
I have created a survey for the target audience, keeping in mind user’s needs and business goals.
The questions were mainly :
- User demographics and bio
2. User’s preferred browsers and platforms to browse the web
3. User’s opinions on other similar websites.
The analysis was made based on the following:
- User-friendliness of the website — Confusing title or confusing IA
- How much thought went into the website
- The overall design of the website.
Our main findings in the survey include:
- Most people use Google Chrome for laptops and Safari for iPhone
- Around 50% of the users would like to see an unconventionally styled web design for corporate companies while the rest prefer regular web design.
- Most users (90%) believe that contrast is the key and all text should be legible
- Most users (70%) also believe that they gain more trust in a company when they see a well-known company in the clientele list. Around 30% of the users read and understand the values of the company and their future plans before contacting them.
We created the following personas based on data we gathered in our interviews and surveys. We created two personas for us to keep in mind, their goals, needs, and their pain points.
“Personas are the single most powerful design tool that we use. They are the foundation for all subsequent goal-directed design.”
— lan Cooper, Software designer, and creator of Visual Basic.
How Might We’s
“How Might We” is a method used to explore problems that exist on our website. We spend time brainstorming as many “How Might We” questions as possible and select the most relevant problem statements.
Then we use Impact-Effort graph to prioritize our problems and solutions
After that, we brainstormed ways to solve problems.
Keeping the insights in mind, we brainstormed the information architecture of our application to create the sitemap, user flow, and wireframes.
I produced the wireframes keeping in mind 3 main points:
- Increase leads, leading to their product and contact information.
- Well-structured paragraphs, legibility for all age groups
3. Increase trust in the business by providing transparency