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Easy Enough for Anyone

Presented at edUi 2009

Joel Pattison
Associate Director of Creative Services
College of William & Mary

The internet abounds with free services for creating a blog. But what about tools for building a traditional website? Even with the rise of social networks, the demand for professional/personal faculty websites hasn’t abated.

In 2008 William & Mary launched Tribe Voices, a web-based application to fulfill this need. The goal: ultimate ease of use.

This session explores the Tribe Voices development process, with a particular emphasis on user interface and usability. Topics of discussion include:

  • Reasons to design the UI first – before writing code or finalizing the feature set
  • Building a working UI prototype with Photoshop and HTML
  • Conducting usability testing with an interface prototype and students/faculty/staff
  • Creating a “quick start wizard” that eliminates the need for training
  • Writing detailed, easy to follow documentation and integrating it into the UI
  • Using interface mockups to build momentum on campus for the product’s initial release

Tribe Voices has been a resounding success at William & Mary; consider:

  • It has been used to create more than 900 websites since May 2008
  • In the last 14 months IT has received only 55 help tickets about Tribe Voices
  • Tribe Voices received an “Award of Excellence” from the University and College Design Association