Front Door Fitness is a Kansas City based business that provides in-home personal training, yoga training, and nutrition counseling. I was tasked with doing preliminary research to inform the design of their new site in addition to designing the information architecture and supporting the visual designer. A few challenges with this project were a very low budget, a two month timeline, and a client who was not familiar with the design process.
My first responsibility was taking a stakeholder interview template and customizing it to this specific project. I then conducted a stakeholder interview with the owner of Front Door Fitness. I had five main goals in this interview.
- Understand the owner’s needs better
- Understand competition
- Understand needs and interaction of current users
- Define what success looks like
- Determine what needs to be done to support definition of success
Another important function of this meeting was addressing the concerns of the owner caused by his unfamiliarity with the web. I helped to walk him through our process, explain what information we needed and how to get it, and assure him of our capability.
I then made two small content inventories, one for the existing site and one for the new site we were creating. In the first one I noted usability issues and general observations in addition to the meta information.
In the second I created meta information for the new site and described the messaging that the content of each page would use.
My next activity was creating a sitemap of the new site. As you can see, this first sitemap was very basic.
But after further guidance I made this sitemap from a template which further described the content and functionality of the new site.
My last role was in supporting the visual designer as he did his work. So I sat with him and whiteboarded out ideas based on the research I had done in the stakeholder interview. I further supported him throughout his design process as he had questions and asked for feedback.
The new site we built for Front Door Fitness relied on information gathered in the early stages of the project to solve the needs of the users and achieve the goals of the stakeholders. Results of this included a clear description of what Front Door Fitness is and what they offer, a prominent and usable contact form, and “new life” messaging woven in throughout the site.
Two things I took away from this project:
- How to educate the client. This client was unfamiliar with the design and development process and the web in general. I learned how this education can be done with grace and tact.
- How to be an advocate for the client. I learned on this project that the designer is an advocate not only for the user, but also for the client. There were times in internal meetings when it was necessary for me to speak up for the needs of the client as well as the user.