Beyond / 2014
In 2014, I LEAD the IA and design of the new Virgin.com publishing platform
Virgin's new publishing platform was designed around three key audiences: people interested in Travel, Music, Entrepreneurship.
Sub-audiences were also identified: those who wanted to seek Virgin sub-brands (Virgin Mobile, Virgin Atlantic, etc) as well as those who simply wanted to follow Richard Branson.
Using data from the old/existing virgin.com site, and in collaboration with research and content leads, I was keen to ensure the new Virgin.com experience matched the expectations of these audiences.
the ux process
In-depth social research to determine key demographics; this fed the personas and the broader content strategy
Holistic and landscape benchmarking along with competitor research
Initial IA and user flows; red-routes to determine key paths from landing through to content
A mobile-first approach; low to high-fidelity wireframes
Prototype creation and frequent user testing with Virgin's user focus panel
Using a dual-track approach, validated assumptions (designs) were provided to delivery to be fully-designed and built
testing to validate assumptions
To validate assumptions, I used navigational card sorting (tree tests and reverse-tree tests) which informed the sitemap, red-routes and broader content approach. I also conducted remote user-testing using whatusersdo.com (using preliminary wire-framed prototypes), as well as in-person qualitative testing using InVision.
Initial journeys and IA
For the first round of journeys & preliminary information architecture, I took to the whitewalls, Sharpies and Post-Its in-hand
higher-fidelity IA & user routing
validated concepts moved from discovery to delivery
Designing lean allowed me to put concepts in front of Virgin's user focus panel for quick testing and high-level actionable feedback. Working this way meant the team quickly determined which ideas worked - and which ones didn't.
The concepts that resonated with end-audiences were polished and recorded in to a high-fidelity format, usually for stakeholder presentational purposes with the client and key owners at Virgin.
Once Stakeholder buy-in had been achieved, and after the initial IA had been conducted, finessed, documented and validated, I began fleshing out the layout and overall design of the new Virgin.com for the Delivery stage of the process:
Richard branson popped over to meet the team
A collection of visual designs to demonstrate the final, beautiful design of the new Virgin.com website: