In the spirit of fostering open design, I wanted to share what the User Experience team is working on at the Webmaker work week this week. Dozens of colleagues have flown in from different cities and countries to put our heads together (IRL instead of by Vidyo) and ship some pretty amazing things. Hopefully a better UX for discovering content on Webmaker.org is a part of what we deliver.
The track I am wrangling is titled Web Literacy as UX, which proposes to put the Web Literacy Map (or Standard) at the heart of Webmaker’s offering. This is a fuzzy brief, so last week my colleagues Kate Hudson and Matt Thompson helped unpack this, and we realized that what we really wanted was to thread a notion of legitimacy throughout Webmaker, and that contribution would be how we would measure our success.
That insight led to a new focus, which is that every path needs to have an action at the end of it that drives users toward contributing content, teaching kits, events, or design or development to our community.
There is a lot to try and get right with this new design, lots of pieces to juggle, but one of the things I have been focused on is really playing to our strengths. Instead of trying to bend Mozilla processes into something it isn’t, how can we emphasize what is great about how fast we ship, how far we reach, and how idealistic we are? How can we bake those qualities into a new design direction? At the same time, how do we use our strengths to differentiate ourselves while not completely losing the straightforward qualities that makes our sister “competitor” sites like DIY.org, Khan Academy or Code Academy so successful.
While we still have a ways to go for a fully realized prototype this week, we’re off to a running start having explored a few different design directions, including shooting down Luke’s “wheel of fortune” discovery tool (Sorry Luke =) and agreeing to design for change, even if people can’t agree whether or not the Web Literacy Map competencies will in fact change over time. Here are a few of the preliminary directions (do excuse the shoddy image quality – these were taken in a hurry since a squirmy baby was waiting for her dinner).
Lastly, what I did when I got home tonight, was finalize a quick survey of user motivations and their paths through an Explore section. While pretty basic – and while I think we need to start with the emotional side of UX – I am hoping this doc comes in handy throughout the week to serve as gut checks for what we are building.