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Draft of Report

Page history last edited by Vittoria Veltri 6 years ago

Feasibility Report Draft

Cover Page

Redesigning the Seed Wayne Website

 

Prepared for: Kim Pothukuchi

Director of Seed Wayne

 

Prepared by:

Matthew Kable

Vittoria Veltri

Tre’Lon Hunt

Tiarra Cody

Kevin Azar

 

April 16, 2015

Table Of Contents

Want to use Microsoft Word for this...

Ok.

Executive Summary 

I just took a stab at this...

I just took a jab at revising this...

Web usability and interaction are crucial to the success of any organization.  Within the domain of Wayne State University, is the organization SEED Wayne, a community driven urban gardening movement focused on student leadership to create sustainable and self-reliant community within Detroit area.

 

The website SEED currently utilizes is old, outdated, and not user friendly which may be negatively affecting their image and ability to interact with their community.  To determine the quality of the site and its performance we evaluated the site based on primary research we conducted through usability tests analyzing the site's ease of use and the interpretations users made from the content based on its design. We arrived at three possible solutions to the problem of redesigning their site. These options include:

  1. Professional Web Developers

  2. Implement a Class Project

  3. Volunteer Work

 

We analyzed the solutions by interviewing with a professional designer located in the Detroit area and secondary research into the benefits of pursuing each solution on its own.  All of the solutions were evaluated through our four criteria of the report:

  1. Desirability

  2. Ease of Implementation

  3. Usability

  4. Improved Marketability

 

With the results of our tests and studies we have concluded that redesigning the site using a professional web designer would be the best option for SEED if it is within their budget. This will provide the highest quality site in not only design, but in its ability to reach a larger audience and therefore more potential users and members. The professional developers will also provide the shortest amount of time for development allowing the site to be available sooner to the general public. They will be able to manage the site annually providing web analytics, updates, and maintenance which could be costly in terms of time and manpower to the organization.  This will allow SEED Wayne to focus on future projects and instead of the technical aspects of their site which will be in better hands.


Introduction

This feasibility study addresses issues with the current state of SEED Wayne's website and suggests ways to improve it to further align with the organization's mission and goals. SEED Wayne is a prominent student organization at Wayne State making an invaluable difference to sustainable food systems around Detroit.   They should have a website that accurately reflects their organization and is a marketable, usable website. The goal of this study is to produce practical alternatives to help the SEED Wayne accomplish this end.  The current state of the website is functional, however it is not very aesthetically pleasing or persuasive to visitors of the site, for example the home page does not grab the viewers attention or interest due to the lack of photos and emptiness of it.  Having and maintaining a good, usable website is vital for a thriving organization.  An improved website for SEED Wayne could improve overall awareness of the organization around Wayne State and around the Detroit community.  Increased awareness would mean increased funding, membership, and community involvement for the organization.  If the site is not improved, SEED as an organization will be falling behind the times in an increasingly internet based world.  If their website is not persuasive and does not accurately reflect the organization as a whole, their overall awareness in the community and potential membership could be damaged.

 

Three solutions to this problem are discussed throughout this report.  They are as follows: hire a professional designer, implement a class project, and find a volunteer web designer.  These alternatives are assessed by the same four criteria: desirability, ease of Implementation, usability, and marketability.  The alternative that best meets these four criteria is the best approach SEED Wayne could take to renovate the website.  The research discussed in this report evaluates each criteria and provides further evidence of that the current state of SEED Wayne’s website is in need of revision.

 

 

 

Overview of Alternatives

 

The SEED Wayne website needs to be renovated. To approach the renovation needs for the current SEED Wayne site, we came up with four suggestions they could consider to improve the site.

 

Alternative 1: No Action

This option would change nothing.  It would keep the current website as-is. This would require no time or resources being used by SEED Wayne and would keep the maintenance of the site up to the members of the organization. 

 

Alternative 2: Hire a Professional Web Designer 

This alternative would require hiring a professional Web Designer.  This would come at a monetary cost, but would produce professional quality work.  This alternative could provide maintenance of the site as well.  

Alternative 3: Implement a Class Project     

This suggestion would require SEED Wayne approaching students that are majoring in or taking classes in computer science or graphic design with a project that would improve the current website.  A yearly project to maintain the website could also be offered. 

 

Alternative 4: Find Volunteers
The last suggestion is to have volunteers renovate the website. The volunteer would be preferably a student from Wayne State that finished there degree in computer science or graphic design and is interested in expanding their portfolio by renovating SEED Wayne's website for free.

 

Criteria 

To determine the best alternative of the ones presented, each one will be assessed by four criteria.

 

Desirability

The alternatives chosen will all be rated on how desirable they are on two fronts: what SEED Wayne wants in a website and what the community users of the site want in an urban gardening website. If the client whose webpage is being renovated does not desire the new outcome, that alternative will and should be completely ignored.  Likewise, if the alternative chosen can not include all the necessary information to make a successful urban gardening website, that alternative is not good solution to the problem.

 

Ease of Implementation

The most attractive options are ones that will be the easiest to put in place. This means that the solution must be cost effective, timely, and require minimal effort on the part of SEED Wayne. The harder it is for the organization to implement, the less willing they will be to consider that alternative. 

 

Usability

Each solution presented must create a webpage that is usable.  A webpage that is more user friendly and easier to navigate is always favored over a website that is difficult to use. The usability of the current SEED Wayne webpage is an issue and the main reason for renovating the site. If the website's usability is not improved by an alternative no real improvement has been made.

 

Improved Marketability

The new webpage should benefit SEED Wayne as an organization by increasing their marketability. Increased marketability will make the renovation worth while to the organization. A very marketable website can improve membership, funding, volunteers, and the overall awareness of the group.  

 

Roles and Reviewers

Vittoria Veltri has been designated by members of the group as the team leader.  As team leader, she is responsible for the creation of the time table and keeping all members up-to-date with new developments and enforcing deadlines in the group.  Tiarra Cody is in charge of recording all of our team meetings in designated sections labeled "Minutes."  She is in charge of cataloging the details, decisions, and concerns that members voice in meetings.  All team members are responsible for contributing and properly sourcing research conducted via primary or secondary research.  Primary research will be conducted primarily by Matthew Kable and Kevin Azar, and secondary research will be conducted by all members of our team. Secondary research has been divided into types of information (newsletters, wikipedias, etc.) created in team minutes and each member has volunteered to study one of those sources.  All informationwill be presented in a layered approach where final editors, Matthew Kable, Tre'Lon Hunt and Vittoria Veltri, will provide cohesiveness to the content for a clean and concise report.

 

Research Methods

 

Collaborative Method                       //writing process vs editing process

Collectively, the group identified a total of six research questions to maintain focus and help narrow the scope of our feasibility study. These research questions were divided into the following categories: Desirability of Urban Gardening Websites, Implementation of a Redesigned Site, Marketing Benefits of Redesigning a Website, and Usability of Urban Gardening Websites.  Based on these categories primary and secondary research was conducted.  The research was then used to evaluate the alternatives.  When writing the report, to ensure each member has a complete understanding of our objective and the quality of the research we will present, we have created a team charter (Appendix) that each member has signed a hard copy of. By signing the charter, members have agreed to the time table and level of scrutiny we hold to create valuable information for our audience.  

 

Usability Test

To effectively diagnose any problems with the SEED Wayne website and to understand how users reacted and interacted to the site’s content and functionality, we created two usability tests.  The tests used a total of nine participants that were of an age range from 19-55 and of differing degrees of internet experience and knowledge of the subject.  The nine participants were split between the two studies which should highlight most of the problems that pertain to the sites usability.  Dmitry Fadeyev, creator of Usaura (a micro usability testing service), wrote, “Jakob Nielsen’s study on the ideal number of test subjects in usability tests found that tests with just five users would reveal about 85% of all problems with your website, whereas 15 users would find pretty much all problems. “ (2007).  Jakob Nielsen’s study also reveals that it is better to do many small usability tests with no more than five participants than to do very large, extensive tests (2006).  Thus, based on this information, we created the two usability tests based on two research questions we wanted answered:

  • How effectively users could navigate the site?

  • How did users interpret the site’s design?

 

Navigation Usability Test

The test involved four of the participants to locate specific content on three sites: Wayne State University’s SEED Program, Michigan State University’s Green Roof Research, and  Harvard’s Community Garden.  Each participant was asked to locate specific content prompted by four questions we presented.  The participants were timed, but were unaware that they were being timed.  We did not notify the participants until after the test, to gain consent, as to create a realistic setting for the participants.  We did not want participants to feel a sense of urgency that wouldn’t be there if they were browsing the site for content at home.  

 

To begin the test, participants started on the homepage, with their hand off of the mouse, and were asked to find information.  We asked them to actively voice their thoughts as they searched and to notify us as soon as they believe they had located the information.  As soon as the participant put their hand on the mouse, we started the timer.  To gain an accurate interpretation of the timing results, we chose to test other sites was to create something to compare SEED’s performance with.  This helped us determine if problems pertained to just SEED Wayne or if these navigational issues were issues at all.  In order to create data that worked together and was not bias toward one site or other (as each presents slightly different content) we chose four basic questions that each site’s content could answer.

 

Interpretation Usability Test

The other five participants completed this portion of the testing.  The test was applied to the same three sites as the former in order to compare and contrast related data.  Beginning on the homepage, the participants were allowed more freedom with the site and were prompted to explore the site freely.  The participants were encouraged to verbally express their thoughts as they were browsing and then were asked to answer questions related to the site’s aesthetic appeal, information retention, and what they would like to see in the future.

 

Interview with Ray Savaya

In order to provide an accurate quote and to understand what a professional designer could provide, we decided to interview one  (Appendix).  The interview was short, but dealt with the major costs of redesigning, maintaining, projected timetable, and working within the university’s domain.  It was a third party organization with no previous ties with Wayne State University, therefore provided an accurate insight into what a professional developer does and how they would implement their design.

 

Studies

To corroborate and create meaningful interpretations of data, we referred to: studies, articles, books, web designers,  and universities.  We utilized data that backed up and helped shape our primary research to create unbiased and usable data for future action to be taken.  Research was picked and reviewed by another team member and looked to see if it applied correctly, given our criteria.  Research that could be confirmed by more than one source was another stipulation we gave priority to.

 

 

Results

Desirability of Urban Gardening Websites

Interpretation Usability Test

The results from the usability test provided a very direct message from our participants.  The test showed participants overwhelmingly thought that SEED Wayne’s site was unappealing and unprofessional.   Every participant had a negative review or remark that referenced the design of the site as unbalanced, unorganized, and visually displeasing.  The most prominent critique was that participants thought the site seemed out-of-date, and therefore SEED Wayne as uncredible.  As presented in Figure 1, the results show how SEED Wayne ranked in approval ratings when compared to Michigan State Universities Green Roof Research and Harvard’s Community Garden.  In a world where first impressions can make the difference in converting a casual browser into becoming a user and participant of your organization, these are critical observations to the success of SEED Wayne.  

Proper design is extremely important for not only expressing content, but extending trust to the community and those you wish to engage with.  As stated in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, "Design is a key determinant to building online trust with consumers. For motivated users of an information site, bad design (busy layout, small print, too much text) hurts more than good design helps," (Sillence, Briggs, et al. 2004).  This is also confirmed by Bizfilings, a large company that  provides counsel to start-up organizations, and may be the most important reason to update your site because it is much harder to develop users within the community when they begin with a negative impression of your organization from something as simple as design (2012).  This is also an extension of credibility.  When visitors have a negative experience from a site, or feel the site is poorly designed, they lose credibility in the organization and their effectiveness.  As a community organizer, it is imperative to create a feeling of trust and credibility to your constituents.

 

SEED’s Website Desires......

From SEED Wayne's website their mission is to, "build sustainable food systems on the campus of Wayne State and in Detroit communities" (SEED Wayne, 2015).  Some of their goals are to work with community based organizations and to heavily involve students and the university (SEED Wayne, 2015). Educating the community and spreading awareness about sustainability, self-reliance, and re-inventing Detroit are the key ideas that represent their urban agricultural movement.  These things are important to note because this tells us what they consider important to include in their website to accurately represent their organization.  More detail into their goals was discovered when reviewing a power point presentation made by the director of SEED, Kim Pothukuchi.  In order to achieve their mission, they want to, "systematically link education, research, engagement, and operations" (Pothukuchi, 2009).  SEED Wayne's website should accurately reflect and help facilitate that goal.

 

SEED is involved with many projects on Wayne State's Campus and in the Detroit Community.  On many of these projects SEED partners with other organizations.  One on-campus project is the Warrior Demonstration Garden, which SEED started in 2008.  This is a garden for students to use to grow herbs or other vegetables. In 2013, the garden started to be managed by SLUGS (Student Leaders of Urban Gardening and Sustainability).  Another project SEED Wayne is involved with in the community is Detroit FRESH. This involves SEED working with corner stores to help them carry fresh fruits and vegetables and putting on Healthy Food Fairs in Detroit Neighborhoods.  One of SEED Wayne's partners in the community is Earthworks Urban Farm which has a green house located at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen (SEED, 2015).  Information about SEED's various projects and partners is an essential section for their renovated website. 

 

 

 

Usability of Urban Gardening Websites  

 

Navigational Usability Test

The results from this test provided us with clear indications at how effectively participants, or future users, could locate content they were looking for.  The results were abysmal for SEED Wayne’s ability to help participants find content.  From observing participants as they navigated we noticed they’re levels of frustration and confusion as they searched between the undescriptive links and random pages of information.  Not only was the site’s content arrangement dysfunctional, but it was misleading and the tabs were poorly devised.  The participants had trouble locating basic information such as publications, background information, and how to get involved.  

 

 

As noted in Figure 2, the times for all three sites are presented in relation to the content participants looked for.  The results show, on average, that it takes users over ten seconds to find the content they are looking for.  This shows that SEED’s design strategy is not helping users navigate their site, a terrible flaw for any organization.  For the way content is displayed, and the ease of finding content that the user wants, is critical in maintaining visitors and ensuring they come back.  "The first 10 seconds your target markets spend on your company's website are among the most crucial. Site visitors determine whether they will become site users. They perceive the value of your site. They form first impressions about your company and predict the likelihood of finding useful information on your website. Many visitors will leave your website immediately because the site seems unrelated to their search."(Bizfilings, 2012). 

 

Marketing Benefits of Redesigning the Site

 

A redesign of a website, especially one that is over one to two years old, will open up new connections with individuals already in your demographic of interest.  If your site’s creation is within the time stated above, your website cannot keep up with the advancements of technology and will not support the modern browsers that people use, leading to a loss of possible connections with your audience (JRA Design, 2012).  This also ensures your website will load quickly to prevent users from getting frustrated and backing away from your site.  

 

The way content is displayed, and the ease of finding content that the user wants, is critical in maintaining visitors and ensuring they come back.  Kristen Graminga, Chief Marketing Officer of BluePay (a credit card processing company), writes, "Some of the reasons that potential donors decide not to give online are related to the website’s design elements. Having a cluttered page, unclear copy writing and a confusing process are all reasons that people frequently choose not to donate on nonprofit sites" (2015).

 

This is a reflection of the expectations set by internet users when looking for data.  As a community organizer, it is important to create users rather than visitors.  This will create a higher success rate of those that volunteer, donate, or share information on social media.  Nowadays, Google's algorithms study the content put on websites: the quality, how often content is updated, and how it is shared (Forman, 2015).  While Google is making it easier to find better information from your site, if you are not updating the information Google will actually place you lower in the search results making it difficult for potential visitors who may contribute to your mission and goals to find you.  

 

One of the many good reasons for a website to be updated through a professional designer is to improve the sites search engine visibility (JRA Design, 2012).  When a professional redesigns your site, they will include Search Engine Optimization keywords, or SEO's, throughout your site leading to increases in traffic with those invested in community gardens, urban agriculture, etc.  The more SEO's, the better exposure your site will receive (Forman, 2015). 

 

Implementation of a Redesigned Site

 

Interview with Ray Savaya

Ray Savaya is a local freelance web developer who provided us with basic quotes for the average cost of redesigning a new site and its maintenance based on his experiences working with professional developers.  After looking at the site, he said the site development would take only three to five days depending on the extent of SEED’s desires.  As SEED Wayne is located within the domain of Wayne State University, there is no cost as to creating a domain for SEED.  For a complete redesign, the total cost would be $500.  After its design, the maintenance per year would cost $200, and to implement a major revision would cost $100 per revision.   

 

Professional Web Developers

A professional web developer would be the most hands-off approach for SEED’s organization.  The site’s development would take anywhere from a week to two months depending on the scope and amount spent on the site’s redevelopment.  The average prices for site development range from $1250 all the way to $20,000 for full site development (Kyrnin, 2015).  While the prices do get high, they reflect larger websites, more pages, higher quality, and interactive media.  Since SEED is operating with a university domain and is looking for a reconstruction of a smaller site, the costs should fall into the lower end of the spectrum.

 

Another unseen benefit of the professional developer is how they may expand your site’s reach by making your site accessible to the disabled for example.   They will also be able to expand your site’s reach through offering retina display, and will be able to turn your page into a responsive site, which allows your site to be reformatted to any screen size for laptops, mobiles, and tablets (Forman, 2015).  A professional organization will also be able to provide web analytics that help measure where users go, what they click, how they got there, and who your visitors are (Bizfilings, 2012).  These statistics will provide valuable information to better reach your audience and finely tune your site to their preferences.

 

There are plenty companies that offer web design in the local metro Detroit area. We created a list of possible businesses that could provide a quality website. These companies were chosen based on the services they provide and their location. We have analyzed the reviews that each company has received from multiple sources.

 

Geek Girl Web Design is a web design company established in 2008. They are located here in Detroit, MI. The company offers web design, mobile websites, and app design services. According to the reviews from Thumbtack, Geek Girl was given five stars on a five star scale. Someone wrote a review and used Geek Girl to create two websites for him, and he said he would use them for more.

 

IoVista is a web design company located in Madison Heights, MI. The company offers several services including web design, development, marketing, and support. They were give three and a half stars out of five according to Yelp. Bob G. said, "It looks great and is exactly what I wanted it to be." He was talking about the website IoVista created for him. However, another reviewer thought their prices for updating the website were too expensive.

 

Verde Media is another web design company founded in 2011. Verde Media is located in Warren, MI. They offer web design and branding, digital marketing and strategy, and website maintenance and optimization services. Verde Media also received five stars on a five star scale according to the reviews on Facebook. Marisa Suhy said, "the employees are prompt and friendly and their prices cannot be beat!"

 

Bellow is a graphic of the of ratings of each site.  

 

Volunteer Designer

This would be the cheapest method for redesigning the site. The volunteer work could be done by graduates of Wayne State Univeristy or other inspiring web designers looking to add projects and experiences to their portfolios. A more suitable method is to have a few designated SEED members take over maintenance of the site themselves.

 

Student Project

The idea also could be pitched to an existing class as a project presented through their professor. The site could be maintained by students annually, for class or to add to their credentials of real-world experience. Here are a couple of classes that could be pitched to at your convenience (Wayne.edu):

  • FPC 1100 Computing in the Arts

    • A class that provides students practical experience in web design, digital imaging, and digital audio manipulation.

  • IT 3145 Designing Instructions for the Web

    • Strategies and techniques for organizing, presenting, assessing, and evaluation of web-based learning.

  • ENG 3050 Technical Communication I: Reports

    •  

       

      Instruction in basic technical writing skills. Requirements include writing summaries, letters, memos, instructions, and technical reports. Topics include audience and purpose analysis, textual and visual aspects of technical document design, and formatting.

  •  

    5830 Introduction to Technical and Professional Writing Practices

    •  

      Intensive writing course that develops communication skills used in the workplace. Designed for students preparing to become technical writers/editors and students who will write as part of their professional work.

  •  

    5840 Theoretical Approaches to Technical and Professional Writing

    •  

      Survey of the theory and practice of technical and professional communication. Topics include the rhetoric and teaching of technical communication, analysis of on-the job writing and rhetorical situations, and use of new communications technology.

 

 

These clases wont have any web design background and therefore wouldn't be able to CREATE a effective webpage. 

 

The quality of the sites created would be a great improvement from the current website, but not as high of quality as the professional web designer. The only problem with this alternative would be the time frame. If it was pitched to a class, the project could take up to three months for a site that may not reach the standard of quality that was originally desired. If it was offered to a graduate student, the project may be on par with the professional as his experience is greater than the students who would be working on it as a class project.  

 

 

Evaluation

 

Alternative 1: No Action
No changes would be made to the website if this alternative was taken.  Based on the criteria used to evaluate the alternatives, this would solution would meet very few of them.  The outcome would not be desirable because, as derived from the results of the usability test, SEED Wayne's website does not accurately display their mission or goals as an organization. The current state of the site's usability also would not be improved, which was highlighted as an issue based on the second usability test results displaying navigation for different urban gardening websites as compared to SEED Wayne's. The usability of the cite also affects the marketability of the site.  If the site remains hard to use and does not convey what SEED Wayne stands for, people are less likely to be interested in the organization and will be deterred from trying to get involved.  However, this alternative would be the easiest to implement because the current system is already in place and would cost SEED Wayne nothing in time or money.

 

Alternative 2: Professional Web designer 

This alternative would be one of the easiest alternatives to implement.  Contacting a web designer and discussing the desired outcome of a website is all that would be required of SEED Wayne to implement it.  However, the ease of implementation comes at a monetary cost.  As discovered in our primary research, a freelance web designer charges around $500 for the creation of the website, another $100 for any major addition that would need to be made, and an annual rate of $200 for maintenance of the site. The full completion of the renovated website would be created within 3 to 5 days.  There is a lot of security and consistency when choosing a professional web designer. SEED Wayne would know roughly the quality of work that would be received, based on the designer's past projects, and they would know exactly when to expect the finished product. The quality of work produced would also most likely be very desirable to SEED Wayne as an organization and would include all the desirable traits of a successful urban gardening website.  A professional web designer would know how to include everything the client wants and present it in a way that is professional, and therefore a way desirable to the viewers of the site.  A professional web designer could also create a very marketable site, therefore creating better marketability for SEED Wayne as an organization.  As discovered in our marketing research, a professional web designer would know how to get a website higher on the search result list of search engines which is important for creating traffic on the site.  Getting people to visit the site is just half the battle, however.  Creating an attention grabbing opening page and a usable website is the next step and one that a web designer would be very familiar with, and therefore would meet the usability criteria.

 

Alternative 3: Student Project

Creating a student project that pertains to renovating SEED Wayne's website would be a free way to have a much needed service done, encourage student involvement in SEED, and promote education simultaneously, which aligns with the organizations mission and goals.  This alone makes this alternative very desirable to SEED, but this option would also produce a desirable website.  The website created by students in a class may not be as professional or sophisticated as a website created by a web designer, but it would still produce something of great quality.  The students would be given the requirements by SEED Wayne and then would have the supervision of a professor to ensure the quality of their work.  The best designed website would be the one that SEED would chose to implement as their new renovated website.  The implementation of this alternative would be slightly more challenging than the alternative utilizing the web designer.  SEED Wayne would need to approach one of the web design classes a Wayne State, and convince them to take on this project.  This alone could be a daunting task considering, as mentioned above, the web design classes are very specific and redesigning a website for an organization may not necessarily be within the scope of the class.  This option would also be more time consuming than if a professional web designer were hired to renovate the site.  The timeline for creating the website would be longer in comparison to the professional web designer's.  SEED Wayne would most likely have to wait an entire semester after the project was taken on to be able to implement the website, and then they would have to take on the maintenance of the website themselves if they could not convince the class to make maintaining it a yearly project.  Again, the quality of work produced would likely not be as good as if a professional created it and therefore would make the web site less user friendly and easy to navigate.  However, the website created by the students could be drastic improvement to the current website, especially when pertaining to usability.  The marketability may not be improved upon as much as with a professional designer, but like the usability of the site, it would still be improved greatly.  Creating a better website will encourage visitors of the website to become users and be interested in the content of the website.  This could lead to increased funding and membership. 

 

Alternative 4: Volunteer

This alternative would be similar to implementing alternative 3.  It would be at no monetary cost to SEED Wayne but the organization would have to actively seek a volunteer with web design experience.  Often times web designers trying to build their portfolio will volunteer to make or renovate a site for free.  Having students on campus interested in web design, Wayne State is a good place to be able to find young web designers looking for portfolio building work.  Difficulties in implementing the website could arise with this alternative, however.  SEED would have very little guarantee of the quality and the time line for the work.  Most likely SEED Wayne would have to heavily supervise the process to ensure a product that was produced is desirable to them and to their web audience.  Also, after the site is designed SEED would have to take on the role of maintaining the website.  The usability of the website would most likely improve, but probably not as much if alternative 1 was taken.  A volunteer designer would be most interested in the look of the website and how user-friendly the site is because that would best display what the web designer could do, making the website an asset to their portfolio.  Making the website more usable would help increase the marketability of the site, but again a volunteer most likely would not be as successful at or as focused on increasing the marketability of the site as a professional web designer would.  How well the site meets the desirability criteria would depend largely on the web designer.  There is great potential for the volunteer to create a website that is exactly what an urban gardening organization should have, but there is also a good chance the new web designer will not know all the necessary elements of a truly successful site because of their lack of experience.  

 

Bellow is a chart displaying, in the most basic terms, what was described above.

 

  Criterion 
Alternative Desirability Implementation Usability Marketability
1 Would produce not produce a desirable outcome

Would be very easy to implement       

Would be free

Would not improve the usability  Would not improve marketability
2 Would produce a highly desirable outcome

Would be very easy to implement         

Would be costly

Would greatly improve the usability Would greatly improve marketability
3 Would produce a moderately desirable outcome

Would be time consuming to implement

Would be free

Would moderately improve the usability Would moderately improve marketability
4 Could produce a medium to low desirable outcome Would be somewhat time consuming to implement                                                                 Would be free.                                                   May not get finished product in a timely manner Would moderately improve the usability Would moderately improve marketability

 

 

Conclusions

As seen from the research conducted in the usability tests, there is a pressing need to renovate the SEED Wayne website.  Updating the website by improving its usability and greatly affects marketability.  As discussed above, the front page of the website needs to persuade the visitors of a website into becoming users of the site.  Creating more users of the site creates more awareness of the organization and provides more opportunities for people to donate and participate in the activities provided by SEED.  Redesigning the site to make it more accurately reflect SEED Wayne's goals and mission is also very important to implement because the users of the website to get a true feel for what the organization is all about. 

 

All of these alternatives are independent of one another with respect to renovating the site.  One way of combining them when the maintenance is considered is to have either a class project or a volunteer create the renovated website, but then hire a professional web designer to do the up keep for an annual fee.  This would be a cheaper option than just having a professional design and maintain the entire thing.  That way SEED could also ensure that the renovated website would be made by a Wayne State student and if chosen to instate a class project could help support education and involvement with SEED Wayne.  

 

Recommendations 

Based on the evaluation detailed above of all the proposed alternatives, we suggest that if it is within the SEED Wayne's budget to hire a professional web designer.  This is the easiest alternative to implement with the greatest security of quality.  SEED could hire a web designer from the Detroit area to renovate their site, which would align with the organization's goal of working with community based businesses and organizations.  This is also the alternative that offers the easiest way to maintain the site without having SEED Wayne take on that responsibility.  However, if SEED was not willing to pay the annual fee for the upkeep of the site, they have the choice to maintain the site themselves.  Choosing this alternative would provide the quickest turnaround for the  completion of the product.  It would also provide the best marketability of the site, which could positively impact funding, membership, and over all involvement and awareness of the organization on Wayne State's campus and in the city of Detroit.  The quality of the website itself, its navigation, and its usability will also be of the best quality if this solution is chosen.  

 

Citations

we should use microsoft Words APA citations tab for this