We kicked off the project with a design sprint to build momentum (a useful strategy with government projects) and make sure we were on the right track with the redesign.
As a group, we decided that the project goal was to empower LA's citizens, public and private sector, and visitors to understand their part in LA's resiliency and care enough to prepare. Then we mapped out how people currently navigate the site.
After a session of ideation and prioritization, we decided that our focus would be on two areas toward the beginning of the flow: prompting people to care and not overwhelming them with too much or irrelevant information.
Each sprint participant sketched ways to help people find relevant information. Then, as a group, we voted on the ideas and combined the winners to make a nearly complete flow.
I designed a prototype based on the team's sketches and used it to test the clarity and usability of our concept. Overall, users found the prototype easy to use, helpful and visually appealing.
A Variety of Audiences
By presenting visitors with different self-identification options, we aimed to pique their interest with relevant, personalized information.
One of the big things that came up during the sprint was the importance of region-specific information. For example, someone living in East LA might not need the Tsunami Preparedness PDF that someone living in Marina del Rey might, but everyone will need to get the Earthquake Preparedness PDF.
During the tests, I found that full color thumbnails of the documents make them much more attractive to visitors, and thus more likely to be downloaded.
Additionally, since some visitors might be using the site at a public library, we also wanted to provide the option to retain the information in several ways.
The large, pink alert banner gives the Ready LA team a way to notify visitors of an emergency situation without being aggressively alarming.