Conan community feedback processed

29 Jul 2009 - 6:49pm
367 reads
Elizabeth Bacon
2003

Dear IxDA,

I want to thank everybody who stepped up to participate in the recent
round of feedback on the design concepts presented for IxDA Conan, our
website redesign project. In addition to the members of the Conan team
themselves, about 60 IxDA members asked to review designs in the
ConceptShare system. Special thanks for the most cogent & detailed
feedback from IxDA members goes to Maureen Murphy & Shilpas Shukla!

As the Creative Director & Project Manager of Conan, I have reviewed
all the feedback and produced a set of design change recommendations
as well as questions that need to be answered. These items are
becoming work items that will be addressed by the design teams. Please
feel free to take a look at the processed feedback published online at:

http://docs.google.com/View?id=df6bq4tg_0ffzp5s3p

One issue raised repeatedly by reviewers that I'd like to address in
this forum questioned our intention to utilize the existing visual
design.

Firstly, it was a tactical mistake for us to represent the Home page
as identical with today's visual design. Mea culpa! We will in fact be
re-considering the layout and organization of this page to reflect the
new, dynamic community contents that will be delivered with the new
site. (Unfortunately, the design concepts for this page were not
completed in time for this feedback round.)

However, it is a deliberate strategic decision on the part of the IxDA
leadership team to minimize our risk on this major initiative by using
our existing visual design. The current style of the website was
professionally procured in 2007. When we surveyed our membership in
December 2008 about various aspects of the current website in order to
inform the Conan feature list & prioritization thereof, the visual
design was judged to be the most successful aspect of the site.
Adopting the adage of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," we have
chosen principally to devote our resources to the interaction design
and development challenges of the redesign project. The most urgent
driver for this project has always been the technical instability of
the current website's discussion forum coupled with the extreme growth
of our members & local groups.

Nevertheless, the Conan team intends to push the envelope on the
visual design, based on the questioning feedback in this area. We all
tend to agree that the overall look is too sterile or corporate, and
we want to bring more life to the site in keeping with the vibrancy of
our community. We also will reconsider the layout of the top-level
navigation in relation to the logo, log-in fields and search
functionality, and will ensure that second- and third-level navigation
is clearly comprehensible and well-integrated with the page design.

Thanks again for your support of this initiative, which creeps ever
closer to reality. Spare a kind thought for all the volunteers making
this project happen! I believe that we'll probably release a couple
areas of the site for additional review of revised design concepts,
and I hope you'll help us polish it further when we release alpha/beta
versions during the development phase. Just let me know if you have
any questions in the meantime!

Cheers,
Liz

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