Euroradio is European Free Radio for Belarus that provides the latest news regarding Belarussian politics, economy, culture and sports. The newsfeed is delivered via two key channels – audio streaming and online information service.
As a User Experience Designer my role was to deliver a functional and user-friendly interface of Euroradio FM. The key responsibility was to evaluate the existing website, conduct research and tests and finally, provide a functional prototype and design that fulfils the business goals as well as users’ needs.
An unfriendly layout and overloaded content can kill the product as fast as lack of expected functionalities and information.
The main reason to restructure the Euroradio website was its outdated design and form. The website that had not been updated for years become a kind of a trash can, full of hundreds of links and low-quality images. The formerly popular information service lost its competitiveness. Due to a decreasing number of unique users the need to improve attractiveness and quality became a major goal.
The earliest challenge was to evaluate the existing website and indicate the issues that corrupt user interaction with the product. In this case, along with heuristic evaluation, I conducted a simple usability test on a small group of respondents who had never used the website, as well as a survey on possible changes and improvements.
The evaluation backed by the usability test results highlighted the essential need to focus on readability and information architecture. All of the participants found the existing website unclear and highly unattractive. They also had troubles with navigation and finding information. In order to solve those issues, the concept of website was rethought. First of all, the main navigation was rebuilt, a huge number of hyperlinks reduced and replaced by image-headline-copy post frame. Second of all, the remaining content was divided into categories that simplified search and navigation.
According to data collected via Google Analytics platform, the average time spent on website was approximately equal to the duration of single post reading. It was also observed that the content was more likely accessed through search engine than through the main page. That finding led me to redesign the data architecture in order to keep the user on the website as long as possible. Through the implementation of related-posts and topics, as well as categories accessible through the main page, a sort of information loop was created to engage users in the published content.
Beyond the written content, in order to emphasize the primary purpose of the website, i.e. online radio, the previously invisible player hidden under the small-size button was now placed inside the left-slide menu including all of related information (schedule, programmes etc.) keeping it easily accessible throughout the time the user spends on the website.
The last phase of development was to implement the formerly created design and solutions within a functional Axure prototype and to deliver the pixel-perfect, ready to implement graphic design. The overall construction of the website, based on bootstrap framework was meant to be responsive, in order to enhance readability and accessibility to all users, regardless of device, screen resolution or browser.