For the past two semesters, Cheyanne Symone had the pleasure of working with a student group from the University of Michigan’s School of Information. The group participated in a capstone project focused on improving user experience on the Cheyanne Symone website. Students in the group included Lauren Zielinski, Navanas Chetsandtikhun, Rachel Rothstein and Tyler Jackson.
The first semester of the project, the students met with Brittany and Kate (both University of Michigan alumnae) and found out more about Cheyanne Symone and our goals as a company. From there, they worked on defining a scope of work and research approach for the project. The project scope ended up focusing on improving the user experience on the website, as well as some strategies to improve the flow and functionality of the site.
The second semester of the project involved:
- A “heuristic evaluation”, which is an assessment of the site’s usability based on a set of recognized usability principles.
- Testing of the site’s functionality by the students and participants they selected.
- An improved prototype of the site, created by the students.
- A/B testing of the prototype site’s functionality with participants selected by the students.
Through these assessments, Lauren, Navanas, Rachel & Tyler found several great opportunities for improvement.
Based on their findings, Cheyanne Symone looks forward to offering an upgraded site in late summer of 2020.
Thank you so much for all your hard work, Lauren, Navanas, Rachel & Tyler!
We had the pleasure of interviewing Navanas about a couple of topics related to marketing and social media!
1) What is your favorite social media platform?
Personally, I spend a lot of time on Instagram and Snapchat. I’m on the actual Facebook interface less and less, but I use the messenger function regularly. In the professional capacity, I’m active on LinkedIn. Feel free to reach out to me for digital marketing and human-centered design related questions here.
2) What is the most common mistake you see companies making on their website(s) or in social media?
Not being designed for mobile display is an issue that comes up pretty often. Text will be obscured, menu functions might not work, or the entire website will just look exactly like the desktop version. Those issues are very frustrating for mobile users, which is important because the volume of mobile web browsing has overtaken that of desktop browsing for some time now. Especially if a business is advertising on mobile applications like Instagram, it needs to make sure that its website is optimized for mobile users. Search engines like Google also recognize mobile display as a priority, and penalize sites not optimized for mobile display by ranking them lower in search results. It’s a good idea to optimize for mobile display, and in general to have someone who is new to the website try to navigate it in front of you to see how your website feels. This minimizes the risk of glaring usability flaws slipping through and being put into the live version of the website.
3) If you could give companies one piece of advice for improving their site usability, what would it be?
Ask someone who has never seen your website before to sit down and navigate the site (both mobile and desktop versions). Make sure you tell them that the best, most helpful thing that they can do is to be honest about their thoughts on your website, so you know what to improve. Prepare a list of common tasks that you want users to perform on your website and ask the person to go through the tasks and do them while narrating their thoughts. Make notes of any points of confusion, frustration, delight, and other emotions. Just doing this with a few people will greatly reduce the risk of bad website design choices making it into the live website.