This project is due to be completed in 2020 and the primary challenge has been maintaining the prominence of UX research and design as a part of larger business strategy.
Information Architecture audit
The VMS had gone through multiple iterations with no documented taxonomy or information architecture so the first step was to audit the current information architecture, which included site maps, content inventories, and the classification of thousands of fields, security roles, groups, and organizational units.
I conducted remote user interviews to understand how volunteers and volunteer leaders interacted with Roll Call in its current state before tearing down and rebuilding.
Through research, we were able eliminate a large number of unused fields and establish an Information Architecture that was efficient but wouldn't dramatically change user behavior.
User Insight: Changing the role of the VMS
A major insight was that the volunteers felt that the VMS was missing a lot of expected content. We learned that while the main website was useful for those interested in joining, volunteers expected the VMS to be a rich place for relevant content after joining.
Previously, the organization had viewed the VMS just as a place where volunteers signed up for events and conducted online training. However, volunteers were expecting deep content that answered questions and provided more information about the organization's capabilities and trainings.
Segmentation and Personas
Using previous market research data, our user base was roughly broken into three segments: new volunteers, fully trained volunteers, and volunteer leaders.
With in-house data and user interviews, we were also able to create 6 personas. Those personas combined with user stories and journeys helped with the creation and design of new landing pages and content.
Because we didn't have designer support, I broke down our main website utilizing Frost's Atomic Design theory to create a pattern library. The pattern library made it easier for the freelance developer to quickly build out HTML prototypes.
Different landing pages were created for each segment and new content pages were created specific for the needs of each each segment.
New pages for training opportunities, deployment information, and capabilities were also added based on user data.
Prototypes were shared with volunteers and staff members to test: first as clickable wireframes and then later as HTML prototypes. Iterations were made based on comments from surveys and as well as usability tests.
Pages were added live and iterative changes made based on the flow and creation of new content. To assist with the iterative processes I implemented, I began hosting office hours twice a week for any volunteer or staff member to walk and talk through any friction they were encountering with the use of the new VMS.
Finally, a bimonthly release schedule was created with a monthly update meeting so stakeholders knew of feature and content releases, as well as buy-in and testing for future items.
Information architecture established and content inventory created for every element in the VMS.
Standardization of nomenclature and classifications (basic taxonomy).
Unique page views for training increased from 300-500% with 40% of traffic from new pages.
Increase in unique training page views