The full project has been challenging and a lot of learning has been done throughout the process. Even thought this project is concept only, a lot of time was spent on technical side in order to find out if this project is doable. WordPress is powerful tool that proven that it would be a good framework to use for customisated dashboard after users are logged in. Using WordPress for this purposes was never done before therefore this process of researching how to create back end for the project has been challenging and a lot of learning took place. Another side of the project was to find out what front end framework would be suitable for project of this size and Foundation was chosen. It is totally different framework comparing to other frameworks that I am familiar with as there are different rules in file structure and also how layout is structured. What was useful in the project is that both frameworks have a large community of practice in which membership had to take a place in order to find out solutions to occurred problems during the process.
Also community of practice was used in research stage where survey was done about what users think about functionality of forums and what changes they would make to make forums more user friendly. There were a lot of good suggestions and nearly all of them were implemented into the design. This was quite difficult to do as suggestions had to be embedded into the design but also they could not influence usability of the website and the design had to be visually appealing to users. Visual imagery was used as research showed that users are more likely to remember things by seeing rather than reading. This was done by adding hero images to the design as this is one of the designing trends at the moment.
There were a lot of planning and research put into usability and design.
Registration form was done through visual imagery and was focused more on users clicking on provided choices rather than users having to type information in. This was decided to do after doing research about designing principles of a good design where was found out that if any task on the web has a high cost of energy, users are unlikely to complete the task unless the reward for it is also high. Also Hick’s law says that the more options users have, the longer it takes to make a decision and that is why booking form was kept simple and straight to the point.
Also providing users with two choices of entering the site – enter as a guest/enter as a member, has marketing strategy as the user entering site as a member can access only limited information and to gain access to more information, registration is needed.
Looking back at proposal that was written in the beginning of the project, there is only one thing that changed during the process which is title of the social community from ‘World of Reptiles’ to ‘Vivarium’.
Everything else in the proposal has been fulfilled.
User testing was done throughout the full project mostly at university ground. This helped to create design that would be usable for anyone as all suggestions of potential users were considered and implemented into the design. The last user testing proved that this project was a success in every way as all users doing user testing were happy with the final product.