AMI or Applied Market Information, is a market intelligence and events company in the plastics industry. They offer a variety of services for other brands that include consulting, database software, and conference organisation which allows companies in the same industry a chance to gain more information about the industry and opportunities to network with other key players. AMI's goal is to bring the industry together to share the collective knowledge and further help brands grow through leveraging their years of expertise accumulated over the years.
Their website, however, did not reflect this. Visually speaking, it was a dumping ground of information and unnecessary images which only slightly related to the content on the pages which did not do the brand justice. The information and content had little to no structure which bred confusion and disorientation rather than clarity for people.
The solution would be to redesign the website. I needed to create structure and coherency that would reflect the company's quality of service as well as making it appealing so that the site shines a light on the brand's personality.
Through doing some more research on the company and speaking with someone I know who works there, the target audience was defined as those who are generally older within the plastics industry. So I narrowed it down to an age range of 35-60's of professionals ranging from management to sales.
Using the website that is already live (as of February 3, 2021), I used it to conduct an initial user testing. Some were carried out remotely while others were in house. The feedback from the users that were tested had the same general pain points when using the current website. These included an overcrowding of content/information and no clear structure to the website which left users disorientated and confuse. It took a while for some users to understand exactly what the company was and what they offered, other users gave up since generally speaking people nowadays don't have the time or patience to go through an information and content dump just to understand a company.
Through interviewing a senior employee of AMI I was able to go over and confirm the company's identity and what they offered to customers such as their consulting services, events, and databases. Proceeding to interview other users I questioned them on how it would make their lives easier when using the website as well as possible design suggestions. In general they wanted more structure and seamlessness, users weren't happy with the separate links and pages they had to go through just for a couple sentences worth of information. All of these factors ultimately would lead to users not wanting to use the website at all.
I created a couple personas to reflect the target audience and the users I tested. These personas also have different goals in mind. One is a company employee in the plastics industry looking to further company growth through joining a conference with key players, whilst the other is simply looking for more information about AMI since he has a job interview with them soon and wants to be prepared.
Designing the UX aspect of the project took a fair bit of time since I had to go through the website in order to see the content that was there. I continued to look at content that possibly did not need to be there as well as how to structure the information given. After doing some information architecture, I proceeded to create a user flow which would in general depict the navigation a user would go through when using the site. Some information was taken out from the original website since I felt they were unnecessary and did not add value to the user.
I was able to identify how many pages I needed to redesign, however, there are some pages that I identified but are more content specific. For this project I only wanted to design the core pages of the website.
I continued to sketch out some wireframes which would show the general structure and elements of the website pages making sure that it would easily be responsive when narrowing the viewport making it mobile friendly as well. Due to the amount of information present I took a minimalist approach, making use of space in order to create more breathing room for the user's mind when viewing the website and in general making a cleaner interface for the user to use.
Considering the feedback from some users during the research phase, I also sketched out some designs for a cart widget to appear on page when clicking on the shopping cart icon. So that if a user is shopping databases for their company or personal use, they can stay where they are when checking their items instead of being directed to a completely separate page.
Moving onto creating hi-fi mockups in order to better present the final product. Using type and colours along with illustrations. I decided on using illustrations rather than the photos used on the original site since it better helped users with information gathering and depiction. The illustrations and icons also added more visual fun/beauty to the website.
Using the colours from the website I decided to use white as a primary colour and #013B71 as an accent whilst using #4CB8E7 for hover states.
Below is the style guide.
I got to work on adding the style elements to the wireframes. Using Figma I created the pages that I made wireframes for, making sure to keep spacing and overall design consistent as possible so that it gives users a seamless experience. Prototyping the mockups to make it interactive, I conducted some more user tests. I gave them different scenarios to navigate. They were pleased with the final product and were able to complete the tasks given to them. There were minor feedback and suggestions like adding more CTA's were taken note of and can be used for further iterations of the product.
Below are the finished mockups.
Overall, I was very pleased with how this project turned out. Working with the sheer amount of information that AMI had was refreshing and a challenge I was happy to have completed. Users were able to learn more easily and navigate the website better, having a seamless experience and greater satisfaction than before.
I was able to improve my Figma and design skills further. In tandem I felt that I improved my research skills which I find crucial when designing a new experience or product.
I would love to continue working on this website in the future and do more redesign projects.