Refreshing a decade old web portal - in a month

Refreshing a decade old web portal - in a month

Refreshing a decade old web portal - in a month

Refreshing a decade old web portal - in a month

The challenge

A web portal in need of modernization.

eKapija is an online business portal that reports about regional business, tenders and events. Think of a Bloomberg for the Balkans. Now imagine a Bloomberg that doesn't have a mobile-friendly website.

Their website was in dire need of a responsive redesign - the websites' fixed width wasn't keeping up in era of mobile phones. Since it's online presence was the company's main source of profit, a mobile first redesign was a necessity.

Our objective was to create a responsive website supporting desktop, tablets and mobile phones.

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study. All information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Client.

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study. All information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Client.

This was the first project I worked on as a UI designer - I hit head first into a lot of problems and learned along the way.

The approch

Management approached me with one idea in mind - to make the current website responsive. 
The company's objective was to finish a 'quick' revamp of their front and back end.

Focusing on making the website more efficient, the priorities were modernizing the database (the back end was written 10 years ago) and making the website mobile first, sticking to their existing visual identity. 

This was the first project I worked on as a UI designer - I hit head first into a lot of problems and learnt along the way.

An in-depth look

Management decided against user research in this project, briefing me instead based on experience design.
They had a few documents with client feedback on the current site. This is what I used as a starting point. Since I was working at a news portal, I used the journalists around me to do usability testing once a month.

Apart from the obvious mobile first design that had to be addressed, the decade-old website had (over the years) accumulated a number of functions that were now cluttering the website instead of adding value.

The redesign had full priority in the company as we delved straight into the details. I was put in charge of all the responsive UI design and in contact with the CEO that would be acting as a product owner.

Since this redesign/adaptation was long anticipated, everyone had an opionon what needed to be changed: there were even some user testing reports from previous attempts. I sat down asking questions, separating opionons from reaccuring issues and read all the data I had recieved.

Having in mind the companies' resources and allocated time - my design-team-of-one was on a tight schedule. The approach I took was design based on previous knowledge.

 

ekapija-progress

The progress of the eKapija website from 2006 - 2015

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study. All information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Client.

The Results

Since the redesign:

  • The yearly Subscription renewal rate increased by 30% (this is eKapija’s main source of income)
  • There has been a general increase in impressions since the new site was published

  • More than 60% of users answered positively with follow-up feedback and answered they could locate content easier

Lessons learnt

This was my first project as a UI designer and used it as a starting point to get introduced to the field.

The workload and scope were demanding for only one designer which made the learning curve even larger. The clients' decision to verbally explain requirements (as opposed to documentation in the form of Use Cases and User Stories) prolonged the whole process and allowed for lots of iterations and back-and-forth communication.

I was very fortunate for the chance to work on a real project for my first UI job, this experience opened the world of Digital experience design after having just graduated from Architecture.

Website design and content © 2017 Lana Loncar