Magnum Multimedia worked with the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to help redefine the user experience for the Office of Procurement Services. Deliverables included Stakeholder Interviews, Card Sort Testing, Audience & Task Definition, Information Architecture, Responsive Designs for desktop, tablet, smart phone devices and WordPress CMS. View Screen Shots
The Office of Procurement Services is responsible for performing the entire procurement function for the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Virginia’s largest four-year public institution. VCU and the VCU Health System is Richmond, Virginia’s single largest employer that supports over 32,000+ students each year, 18,000+ faculty, staff and employees, 1,900+ full-time instructional faculty and 8,500+ classified staff which all require procurement services support.
Rethink, reorganize and rebuild the Procurement site from the ground up to better serve the needs of the VCU community. Make the procurement process easier to understand and perform, deliver large amounts of policy, news and events updates and improve access to documents and forms. Provide a mobile-friendly and future-ready solution to adapt to current and future mobile devices and CMS to seamlessly integrate into the VCU Central Authentication System (CAS).
Definition & Card Sort Findings
After running a preliminary audit of the existing site and reviewing past site analytics, MM conducted stakeholder interviews with key department heads and staff to confirm site redesign priorities. Once confirmed, MM developed and facilitated a series of online “Open” Card Sort tests with University staff and outside vendors to determine the preferred taxonomy and organization of key topics and content. Findings revealed that many participants organized their cards based on the existing institutional structure which was exactly how the site was organized. One of the participants phrased their groupings based on audience, task, and need: “I am a University employee. I want to buy stuff. Tell me how to do it.” This inspired our ongoing content and architecture strategy.
Architecture & Content Realignment
Our user-centric philosophy toward site design required us to address content. It was assumed by the organization that “Policy” was instruction. When consuming the materials, we realized Policy addressed the needs and responsibilities of those employed by the Procurement department. What it did not accomplish was assisting faculty and staff in procuring resources. MM worked with VCU to reorganize and rewrite their content in the form of “Step-by-Step” pages to educate and instruct key audiences.
Once the site architecture and wireframes were approved, MM utilized a responsive design approach to deliver a more fluid user experience. Defined breakpoints provided optimized displays for desktop, tablet, and smart phone devices. Implementing a responsive design solution also helped VCU minimize site management costs by centralizing all content via a single CMS, allowing administrators to create, edit and publish content once to be displayed across multiple devices.
• Requirements Gathering & Analysis
• Content Audit & Inventory, Audience & Task Definition
• Card Sort Testing (Open), Information Architecture, Wire Framing, Site Map
• Content Population & Document Migration (x225+ pages, 275+ documents)
• CMS: WordPress Customization, Documentation & Training
• Google Search Appliance Integration
• Document Management System