Erb MemorialUnion

About the Project

The Erb Memorial Union is the student union building at the University of Oregon. Soon, it be undergoing a huge renovation which is why my office is now rebranding the union and redesigning its current website (designed in flash, circa 1990s). The EMU Website project is huge and still ongoing, but I thought I’d feature some of my higher-fidelity mockups and explain my process.

My Role

Since the site is still being built it’s difficult to talk about my role, but I can at least describe what I’ve done so far. I sent out a survey to stakeholders via email and social media to get us started. The results weren’t too bad, as we received a few hundred responses. This data gave us a solid direction towards what our users absolutely needed from the website, as well as what was (and wasn’t) working on the current site.

From there, I began wireframing and making general decisions informed by our data. Because of a tight deadline, we’re currently tackling testing and creating higher-fidelity designs at the same time (which is a terrible, terrible mistake I will never make again). Our testing specifically includes some card sorting exercises to determine our information architecture, and one-on-one, interactive wireframe testing to determine generally what isn’t working.

What I Learned

I was fortunate enough to work with a UX professional on campus who taught me a bunch of tricks and tips on usability testing. At the time, I was also reading Steve Krug’s books on testing ( Don’t Make Me Think and Rocket Surgery Made Easy ) which were also a huge help. Aside from learning the basics of user experience, I also learned more about my workflow for designing responsively. There are so many considerations that must be made when designing for mobile devices, and it wasn’t until I had worked on such a big project that I realized how complicated that process could get.