Target Is Calling…

Weird things are happening on target.com right now.

One of my assignments for the next few weeks is to create a site map for target.com, and I am stoked.

Now, to be completely honest, when I first pulled Target’s url out of the hat being passed around our classroom, my initial feeling was dismay — but really only for a moment. Because then I realized I finally had the opportunity to do what I’ve been wanting to do since August: really get my hands dirty analyzing the structure of a website and the way a user navigates it.

I’ve always loved maps. As a kid, I’d spend hours looking at my dad’s atlases, studying the different connections and shortcuts between roads and attempting to memorize them. And, although they’re very different from the maps I spent hours looking at as a kid, I’m having a lot of fun looking at different examples of site maps. The elements are still familiar, which makes the act of drawing out connections between links and pages appealing.

Our assignment includes creating a site map, identifying a handful of user goals, and honing in on one goal statement. We’ll conduct user testing based on the goals we’ve identified. (I can’t wait to hit up friends to be testing guinea pigs!) Ultimately, we’ll come up with new recommendations for global nav and a new recommended site map. In essence, we get to practice exactly what I’m hoping to be doing a year from now.

I’m starting out with pencil and paper. Once I’m feeling confident in hierarchies and paths, I’ll move to a screen. By next week, I’ll hopefully be using a site like trymyui.com to observe a real person try to complete a task on Target’s site.

…and that image at the top? Well, Target is just as excited as the rest of us for the new season of Stranger Things, and is celebrating with this:

Go ahead, answer it.