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Website User Interface (UI)

Nova Biro, Open Circle’s Co-Director, was planning a website redesign and needed someone to re-engineer their user interface. Nova approached Catchafire seeking a UI expert to provide an external perspective and to develop an effective UI.

The challenge

Open Circle’s current website is a repository of information but with the amount of info available, clients sometimes have trouble accessing the information they need. Nova wants the new site to have improved flow and access to information but doesn’t have the expertise to implement a plan like this.

Objectives:

  • Overhaul the UI on Open Circle’s existing website
  • Create a clear map of the website’s structure with wireframes to accompany the layout
  • Develop flowcharts or specifications for the interactive features of your website
  • Incorporate new functionality such as private, login-restricted video and resource library

The match

  • Nova posts a Website User Interface (UI) Project.
  • Banu applies for the project.
  • After a two-way interview Nova and Banu accept the match.

“I felt that this project allowed me to give back in the best possible way because I deal with this day in and day out. Another reason I chose this project is because I’m actually looking to expand my portfolio in terms of website redesign, it would help me in terms of career progression.”
- Banu

The solution

  • Nova provides Banu with a link to the existing website and all relevant background materials.
  • Banu and Nova meet to discuss goals of the website, target audience, and types of content the website will feature.
  • Banu researches web design in the industry and what Open Circle’s target audience will be looking for.
  • Banu develops a survey to send to Open Circle’s constituents to better understand how they use the site.
  • Once the survey results are in, Banu organizes the data and begins drafting the site map.
  • Banu and Nova collaborate to design a first draft of the site map.
  • Nova and Banu discuss feedback and determine the pages that require wireframes.
  • Banu creates wireframes and delivers to the Nova.
  • Banu and Nova go through revisions and incorporate agreed upon edits.
  • Banu finalizes the wireframes, user interface flow and specifications for visual design.
  • Banu offers any additional advice for Nova as they enlist a visual designer and developer to implement UI Plan.

The Result

A comprehensive document outlining the project’s process, final site map, wireframes, and useful resources for the web developer to implement the plan.

“The project was really wonderful! Banu was very knowledgeable, friendly and enthusiastic. She gave us plenty of examples and taught us new ways to understand website design and UI flow.”
- Nova

The impact

The redesigned UI will allow Open Circle’s website to serve as a key online marketing tool. Refreshing the site’s content and flow ensures they are better serving the needs of their community and any new visitors.

“The UI will enable us to have much stronger and more compelling messaging for our key audiences so they can get excited and want to learn more. The content that they might be looking for will be easier to find ( whether they want to register online or answer a question) it is really readily available to our main target audience as well as anyone who visits the site.”
- Nova

“I’ve actually been able to expand my portfolio with this project. I grew as a person and I learned new skills in terms of how do you connect with your client when you don’t have physical interaction taking place. I had great clients to work with, they were really eager to work on this, always available, and they weren’t afraid to voice their opinion."
- Banu

"It was great working with Catchafire, Vibha was very helpful. She was always there and made sure we felt comfortable in the beginning and so on. I think the way Catchafire is setting up these projects is really great, they’ve really thought it through. I’m actually on another project now! I wanted to extend my experience to the other charities that work with Catchafire.”
- Banu

Banu’s 40 hr project resulted in $7K saved for Open Circle.

The Organization
Open Circle helps elementary schools become safe and caring communities where students learn to understand and manage emotions, show empathy for others, form positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Since its inception in 1987, Open Circle has reached over two million children and trained more than 13,000 educators.
The Volunteer
Banu is an IT analyst in a leading Canadian bank with a creative and volunteering side. She graduated with a Human Factors major in Industrial Engineering, which also has an online user interface side to it. Daily she manages the changes and new projects on the Bank's public, online and mobile banking websites. Additionally, she works with a local Canadian charity in their Newsletter area. Starting off as a technical writer summarizing case studies, she grew as a contributor to blogs and newsletters. Now, she has the privilege to manage the newsletter from start to finish.