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Showing Jessie and Braylen the final piece #soulofathens

Showing Jessie and Braylen the final piece #soulofathens

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30 minutes #soulofathens

30 minutes #soulofathens

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A Fruitful Farewell

As a Design Director and Senior Editor for Soul of Athens this year, I have had the opportunity to help lead a production of talented individuals. This experience has been very humbling and one that I will remember forever. The late nights in the lab designing, the meetings, the laughs, the frustrations, and the friendships gained have made this team into a family. Getting to know everyone’s strengths, styles, and quarks has allowed me to be a better leader and has given me the opportunity to understand such a diverse group of creative minds.

 From the very beginning, we had an intense game plan. We met continuously with senior producers to better understand each of the stories and come up with a sequential order for each of the major essay topics (health, liberties, economy, land). By taking the time to do this, we were able to get a better vision of the overall Swing State theme and create a website that would work hand-in-hand with the content being developed instead of dropping videos into a box at the very end. By coming up with an ideal presentation for each story, we were able to give each one the treatment it needed to work best within the essay and tell the story effectively.

 Two challenges that we accepted this year were making an archive site to share all of the past Soul of Athens stories and making this year’s website responsive. Meaning that when you look at the website on different devices (desktop, tablet, mobile), the content will shift and scale to fit each screen resolution so you can view the content in a slightly different way on each device and be able to read the text and view the videos as large as possible. We also dropped a few elements on mobile that we knew wouldn’t read very well small. Want to see how it works? If you are on a desktop, pull your browser in to make it smaller (at 2012.soulofathens.com) and you will see the content shift around to maximize the space.

So, great job to the web team for taking on the challenge! And thank you to everyone involved in getting Swing State launched! As I wrap up this quarter of being consumed with Soul of Athens, I want to thank everyone for making it such a memorable journey. I will take away so much from this experience that will help me both personally and professionally. It’s been a fun ride but it’s time for me to get some sleep! :) Catch you on the flip side, friends. 

- Jenny, web team

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The web team making progress. #soulofathens

The web team making progress. #soulofathens

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#soulofathens getting ready to go public

#soulofathens getting ready to go public

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Skyping with content creators to finalize stories. Last minute time crunching #soullofathens

Skyping with content creators to finalize stories. Last minute time crunching #soullofathens

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Group picture time! #soulofathens

Group picture time! #soulofathens

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Thanking Brandon and Colleen!

Thanking Brandon and Colleen!

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#soulofathens babies in the viscom hallway

#soulofathens babies in the viscom hallway

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User Testing

When creating a website it is always good practice to test the design before it goes live. This year, Soul of Athens is rich with media, stories, and information with several different possibilities for delivery. To ensure the content is displayed most effectively, the design team has to try several different methods to rule out less effective designs. Once the first design iteration was completed, it came time to test the site for a better understanding of how users would interact with it.

The first user testing session was very successful. Several OU students arrived to participate and the feedback we got from them was incredibly valuable. During the test we gave our participants simple instructions and observed their actions as they completed our tasks. Right away we noticed interaction patterns that demonstrated successful elements of our design as well as elements that we would have to rethink.

With our second round of user testing we invited several people that weren’t part of Ohio University to test the same site that we had made many improvements to. The feedback we received from this round of user testing was also very helpful. The test revealed some issues with page length and navigation, but gave us a confidence boost that our color choice and visuals were working well.

With two rounds of user testing complete, the design team for Soul of Athens is  confident that the 2012 website will be successful.  We would like to thank everyone who participated in our user testing, your feedback helped us build an incredible website!

User Testing

When creating a website it is always good practice to test the design before it goes live. This year, Soul of Athens is rich with media, stories, and information with several different possibilities for delivery. To ensure the content is displayed most effectively, the design team has to try several different methods to rule out less effective designs. Once the first design iteration was completed, it came time to test the site for a better understanding of how users would interact with it.

The first user testing session was very successful. Several OU students arrived to participate and the feedback we got from them was incredibly valuable. During the test we gave our participants simple instructions and observed their actions as they completed our tasks. Right away we noticed interaction patterns that demonstrated successful elements of our design as well as elements that we would have to rethink.

With our second round of user testing we invited several people that weren’t part of Ohio University to test the same site that we had made many improvements to. The feedback we received from this round of user testing was also very helpful. The test revealed some issues with page length and navigation, but gave us a confidence boost that our color choice and visuals were working well.

With two rounds of user testing complete, the design team for Soul of Athens is confident that the 2012 website will be successful. We would like to thank everyone who participated in our user testing, your feedback helped us build an incredible website!