Title: Digital Intern
Location: Headquarters of Cook Medical, Bloomington, IN
UX Project: Creative Central – The Online Brand Guide
The summer internship at Cook Medical has been very productive, enabling me to use my User Experience (UX) skills in a real-time setting while constantly growing in this field and learning professionalism from my colleagues.
The User Experience Project I Worked On
The major project that I worked on during the summer of 2018 is Creative Central – Cook Online Brand Guide.
Like most other competitive companies, Cook decided to have its own web platform for its employees and vendors – a site that would provide best practices, brand guidelines and examples to various divisions and departments for the work they do. For example, color theory, typography, company logo and icons, brand position, written content for the Americas and the UK, and guidelines for web development, print design, email marketing, illustration and photography, videography and animation among the many others.
Research and Requirements Gathering
For this project, I first conducted research with the target audience – Cook employees who would use this site on a global scale in order to determine their requirements. I decided to field a survey globally to all Cook employees representing various sectors hailing from the Americas, UK, and Australia.
After analyzing the data received from the surveys, I scheduled individual interviews (in-person and on WebEx) to talk more about the goals and mission of this online brand guide. This data helped me move onto the next step of concept mapping.
Using a whiteboard, post-its and some color-coded markers, I dedicated a complete session to generate a concept map to understand the data better. This was followed by the creation of a site-map to determine the appropriate flow and navigations of the site.
Design Process: Sketching, Low-fidelity Prototyping, the Iterative process of High-fidelity Prototyping and User Testing
After working on the preliminary aspects of UX research and analysis, I sketched out some quick vanilla sketches of the website. Later, I created high-fidelity prototypes of the online brand guide.
Using an application called Sketch, I started to prototype the first iteration of the interactive wireframes, module by module. After each module creation, I scheduled meetings with the managers of that particular department to receive feedback.
On a similar basis, I created all the modules while simultaneously reviewing them with the specialists and managers. This process went on for multiple iterations, following the spiral business model.
After several iterations and refining the prototyped website, I conducted the site’s usability tests. Usability tests are usually task-driven. For each module representing a department, I formulated certain tasks. Each task was a scenario oriented followed by a few open-ended questions inquiring about the experience of the tester. The users were asked to think aloud while the test session was on. While I mediated the session, my mentors took notes.
Creation of Version B of the High-fidelity Prototype
After conducting the first two usability tests, the results of the test were such that I had to create a version B of the site. This was a very interesting turn in the project as I actually witnessed how the users would perceive and use the site.
For the remaining usability tests, I first had the users interact with version A followed by version B for each task. This A/B testing helped me design a more usable and easy-to-navigate site. Meanwhile, I also presented these high-fidelity prototypes to the managers and teams in Ireland and Australia on WebEx.
This was a great platform for me to communicate with UX experts on a global scale, thereby seeking their advice and feedback on my work. A design manager from Australia said, “Your work reflects professionalism and we like the way the site is structured and designed”. While those from Ireland agreed that the extensive and detail-oriented prototypes are designed according to the UX best practices and portray the Cook brand efficiently.
I also presented this project to the Vice President of Cook in his office. He noted, “This is a great way of defining the Cook identity and this to me is no less than an actual website. Very clean and usable to all employees”. His words made me realize that I have the abilities to be detail oriented and dedicated to my work because these were just interactive prototypes and not the final coded site.
Exposure to Front-end Development
While working on the dynamic prototypes of the online brand guide of Cook, I also worked with the IT teams to work on the front-end development of the site. I worked with the team lead of the IT to understand site onboarding on WordPress since this site will ultimately be developed using the WordPress content management systems. This part of my role gave me in-depth knowledge of front-end development.
I had the proud privilege to present my work in front of all the Cook employees in Bloomington and to other teams in Ireland and Australia on WebEx. Here are some pictures from the cards I received after my presentation regarding my work.