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<Case Study/>

<PTC Library Website Redesign Case Study/>

Meeting with the Client

Meeting with Ms. Fistler

Ms.Fistler came to the web development team with a dilemma.

When we met with Ms.Fistler, the library coordinator of Pittsburgh Technical College, one thing became clear. She was unhappy with the current state of the library's website.

My team and I were excited at the chance to design a lively, gripping user experience to help PTC students learn about their library. We would create a new and improved PTC Library website.

Product Backlog Item Listing

Photo of the first meeting's PBI session

Since my teammates and I had recently adopted scrum team methodology, we asked Ms. Fistler to make a list of "Product Backlog Items," each feature she wanted on the new PTC Library website.

Then we had her arrange the PBI's in order of priority, and we chose the most important ones to work on for the first "sprint," a sprint being a three-week development period.

Creating the Mascot

Picture of early mascot concepts

We started the first sprint by brainstorming some concept ideas, then got to work. I aided in the mobile layouts and CSS coding, as the team began assembling content and building the initial pages. As a means of connecting with users, we had been urged by Ms. Fistler to create a mascot for the library as well. I took up the challenge of creating an effective mascot.

My first attempts and sketches were of three main characters who would represent some of the specific the programs at our school.

These initially went over well with the team, but when the sprint ended and we showed our progress to the client, she felt that she would rather have mascots that didn't represent certain programs and therefore would connect with every student.

Picture of Sprite the Firefly

Say hello to Sprite the Firefly, the PTC Library's guide and mascot!

Building the Website

Photo of Katriona showing the PTC Library's homepage with the mascot, Sprite

As we worked in our agile sprint system, quite a few pages needed to be completed within that time for prototyping and testing. We were tasked with creating an "About" page, a "Contact" page, a "Home" page, and a "Policy" page later down the line. Each end-of-sprint meeting ended with the client studying the pages and giving further feedback help the project meet her vision.

Testing the Website

Leigh speaking with the client virtually

The testing phase revealed a fair number of bugs and points of confusion, plus gave us quite a large amount of information and notes on what we could change to improve the UX and the mascot design. One important lesson I learned was to not only listen to the advice and feedback the test subjects say, but also to look for visual cues and body language, the things they don't say.

While reading the pages, for example, the tests subjects often squinted, allowing us to figure out that our body copy and text were too small to read without strain.

We met with the client a few days after the testing session, and reviewed the findings. By that time, we had smoothed out a lot of issues on the website, and we had a mascot that all parties enjoyed.

At the end of each sprint, we refined the PBI list. Eventually, we only needed to smooth out a few minor bugs and size up the body copy and Ms. Fistler was finally pleased with the finished product. Finally, the PTC library had a website that was easy to use, and invited more people to visit the on-campus library with its welcoming atmosphere. Ms. Fistler was overjoyed to finally have a website that properly conveyed just what the library meant to do.