DriveCentral’s navigation and content made it hard to find the right information.
Finding the Problems
Heuristic Evaluation and Competitive Analysis
I evaluated the DriveCentral website according to the Nielsen Norman Group 10 Heuristics for User Interface Design. I also completed a competitive analysis where I compared it to the websites of other driving schools in the same area.
- Navigation gives no indication of what page you are on
- Too many menu choices and multiple phone numbers
- Use of outdated stock images and placeholder content
- Can only access info about lessons through external booking site
- Video presentations don’t appear to be clickable
- YouTube lessons use robotic voices and images, not actual video
- Links to less plans are broken
- Inconsistent use of button designs and typography styles
- General alignment issues
- Booking an appointment can be done on every page
- Good reputation and reviews
- Caters to special clients such as nervous drivers, teens, and adults
- Instructor previously administered road tests
- Car has custom safety equipment keeping instructor in control
- Issues course completion certificates for insurance reduction
- Confirmations, text reminders and instructor calls when on the way
- Detailed information of whats taught in each lesson is available
- DriveCentral is not high in search results for local driving schools
- Competing driving schools in the area offer lower prices
- Other driving schools have more personalized websites with images of instructors and students
- Opportunity to include more personalized content
- Instructor is open to using new technology and uses an iPad for some lessons
- Technology available to improve online content
- drivecentral.com is an available domain, current domain is too long
current User Flow and Site Organization
Understanding a New Target Audience
The driving instructor expressed that currently his best clients are:
- educated and responsible adults in the suburban area looking for lessons for themselves or their children
- clients with special needs or circumstances
He wanted to grow his business to support more clients like this and thus would be moving his business to a suburban area. I created personas to keep this audience in mind.
I decided to focus on reorganizing the site and streamlining the content. Therefore, I enlisted the help of some people fitting the personas I developed. I facilitated a card sorting session with 6 participants.
- 4 of 6 participants did not understand what "additional driving resources" referred to.
- 4 of 6 participants added an "About Us" section to the page, housing all information which they were not sure how to categorize such as information about the instructor and the driving test pass guarantee.
- All participants assumed since it was a driving school, that there was more than 1 instructor.
Based on this feedback I created a new sitemap
Designing the Solution
I used Balsalmiq to create interactive wireframes.
Building the Prototype
I built the responsive site using HTML and CSS. You can view the finished prototype here on Github.
Final User Testing Results
Testing the prototype revealed that users felt the site was easy to navigate. When asked what each item in the navigation meant, the users were correct in their assumptions of what would be on each page.
Ways to Improve
Moving forward I will find a way to incorporate more imagery into the site. Though the text is all relevant, it isn't as inviting as it could be. Therefore, people may be averse to reading. I also need to improve the navigation on mobile. As it is now, the only way to get back to the main menu is by clicking on the new logo which is not ideal.
What I Learned
This project was my introduction to completing a full design process, from research to implementation. There were different problems I could have focused on and each of these problems could change the process and deliverables considerably. By trying to focus on one problem, I learned that one cannot design in a silo. Most aspects of a design connects with other parts and content and you have to recognize the implications of whatever you are changing.
WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT ME
“Talisha is dedicated and deliberate with her work. She works well in a team, and she helps to make others around her to accomplish the goal.”