Update: IATI website project

  • April 6, 2018

This post has been written by Kate Hughes, IATI’s Technical Delivery Manager at Development Initiatives.

I’ve recently joined IATI as a Technical Delivery Manager, which basically means I am a project manager with a technical background (you can read more about my background here).

It is great timing to join the team whilst IATI is developing and designing a new website. This has exposed me to an enormous amount of discovery research and User Experience (UX) thinking, that I otherwise may not have the opportunity to delve into.

We are working with UX agency fffunction for product design and digital agency The Happy Seven for content development to deliver a website that better describes IATI, with content that is easy to locate and navigate.

The Technical Team recognises that IATI’s Guidance section has left some users feeling unclear about how to publish their data. The new website is seeking to solve problems such as this.

The website journey started last year with extensive discovery work about IATI, including 100+ interviews, usability testing and focus groups. The UX agency fffunction, has been brilliant at consolidating this work into user personas. These are a set of profiles to ensure we understand who each of our key users are, and what they are trying to achieve when they visit the IATI website.

We have created 10 key personas, which may sound like quite a lot, but the IATI community emcompasses a wide range of stakeholders. A core part of the persona work has been to establish the difficulties, or pain points experienced, that need to be overcome in the new site.

User journeys
For the next stage of the project, the personas were used to create specific journeys that different people want to take through the website. This resulted in 28 stories like the one below.

Information Architecture
Our detailed user journeys are being used to create the new site’s Information Architecture (IA) (structure and arrangement of content). The IA is an ever-evolving document. We are currently on v0.9.

We are now using the feedback from IATI’s community on the recent online card sort exercises to refine the IA.

Sketching workshop
Getting down to the nitty gritty of design has been my favourite part of the process so far.

fffunction ran a rapid sketching workshop with the Technical Team involving 5-minute rounds of sketching 4 versions of a web page that is being designed. We then dot-voted on the elements of designs that the group agreed were worth considering.

With these sketches to inform the designs, fffunction worked at an incredible velocity – creating 16 page templates in a 2 week sprint!

Get involved
We want to thank everyone who has taken one of the cards sorts that has been shared so far. 39 people did the ‘Publisher Guidance’ card sort and 21 did the ‘News’ card sort. Input in how content should be structured and organised will help ensure IATI’s new website is a success.

We are still planning to call on you for one or two more testing pieces (tbc), so stay tuned and please keep inputting when you have the time.

Next steps
The current plan is to have a prototype that we can share with you in early May. This will include a few of the core pages to offer you a flavour of the structure, design, and copy style.

IATI’s Members’ Assembly meeting is our planned launch for the new website (late June/early July).  For a small development team also maintaining some 12 other products, it’s a pretty huge undertaking, but we’re enjoying the challenge.