Case Study for Minneapolis Geological Society

Problem

The Minneapolis Geological Society is seeking to create a web presence that can will bring more members to the community and be a platform for discussion among enthusiasts.

Goals
  1.  Attract members of a younger demographic to the society.
  2. Be a resource for geologists to post articles and publications, as well as stay up to date with new discoveries.
  3. Increase subscription to email newsletter rates and increase funding.
Strategy

Create an online platform for the Minneapolis Geological Society to share news, events, publications and merchandise information while promoting involvement and email subscription for sustained engagement.

Project Charter

In a response to a request for proposal, I created this project charter to identify, clarify and solidify the clients goals and gain insight into their user base. There was no existing website, so the demographic information is inferred from similar sites and client information.

Information Architecture

In order to include all of the different features the client wanted, I generated a site map to outline the information flow and hierarchy. This provided a visual foundation in which I could then design wireframes to predict user flows and potential clickstreams.

Wireframes

Annotated wireframes made in Axure help me organize the potential user paths, and incorporate different features in appropriate places. After designating the business and user goals, I balanced the two while designing wireframes, using calls to actions for tasks that would help users complete their goals and at the same time, encourage them to explore paths that benefit business goals.

Design Considerations
  1.  Consideration of older demographic – high contrast colors for easy visibility
  2. Modern aesthetic to intrigue younger demographic
  3. “Non-cheesy” to represent professionalism and emulate a trusted resource
Call to Action

Using an accent color as a piece to attract the user’s eye, important business goals were brought to attention. The orange color offset by the dark blue and white main colors reinforced the call to action placement by being brightly colored and contrasting.

Prototype

Assessment of the client needs and site functionalities, I determined WordPress to be the best platform for this website build. Time and requirements did not allow for the full development of the site, so I coded prototypes in HTML using the Bootstrap CSS Framework. The prototype can be found here.

Conclusion

This website is designed for a fictitious geological society that was provided by classmates. The Minneapolis Geological Society does not exist unfortunately, but the methods, values and scope remain realistic throughout this project.