Post 1 – Mapping and Interview

I started my project by creating a site map of  the Banner website using a free online service called GlooMaps. This gave me a better sense of the organization and content of each page. I listed information about each page along with a description of the services it provides on a Google Docs spreadsheet. This was made more difficult by the fact that many pages on Banner are accessible from multiple different points in the hierarchy and there is a high degree of redundancy in the services provided. I found many pages which offer single services for related tasks that could easily be condensed into one page. One particular example of this the Student Information tab where there are separate pages for changing personal information, changing your ethnicity, and viewing your ethnicity. There are also a lot of pages which redirect to external websites but require multiple levels of navigation to access. I would hypothesis that the overlap in page function, lack of discrete pathways for navigation, obscuring of external links, over segregation of tasks, and vague category labels account for almost all the problems users encounter when trying to navigate Banner.

To determine which services need better organization, I have selected pages that present unique information, do not redirect to external websites, and could not beneficially be merged with other pages as the core services of the website. These services will be used for the card sort activity later in the project.

I also created an outline for the user interviews that would supply the right kind of information and that could also be accessed as a google form if needed. I began interviewing and very quickly gained some useful information. One oversight in the mapping of Banner was that students who have worked for the College have access to an Employee and Finance tab that do not appear for other users. I have not yet decided if this will be included in the scope of the project but I have reached out to a student employee who will let me view their account to analyse these pages. After viewing the information, I will come to a decision on whether its inclusion would benefit the average William and Mary student.

I have three more user interviews lined up for today and I hope to be finished interviewing by sometime next week so I can move on to user personas and testing.

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