seen + learned

MIT Biology information design and user testing

Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 | Posted by Debby Levinson | Labels: , , , , , , 0 comments

MIT’s Biology Department wanted to redesign its website to offer prospective and current students a better overview of the research, collaborative mentoring, and career skills the program provides. Having already completed a survey of its students, faculty, and staff, the department had an initial sense of the most urgent problems they needed to solve in the site; specifically, how to drive people to the right content in a site comprising more than 150 pages.

Nimble Partners identified key scenarios of use for the site, analyzed its content, and developed a new information architecture that addressed key user priorities like identifying deadlines and locating faculty and staff. We also designed several rounds of wireframes to dive deeper into content and feature needs. The wireframes served as the foundation for an interactive prototype we reviewed in talking-protocol usability tests with students, faculty, and staff to confirm assumptions and refine site organization and features before visual design began.

Work included:

  • Content inventory and analysis
  • Scenario development
  • Information architecture
  • Usability testing

Home page wireframe

Interior page wireframes for category home (top) and degrees (bottom)

Faculty and staff directory with faceted search

Biology website visual design by Stoltze Design. Development by Indigo Digital and Common Media.