For the first project, in CIM 643/690, we threw students into the proverbial deep end with the objective to improve the usability of the rather large National Hurricane Center’s website. Below is the design brief, stay tuned to see what the students create!
Design Brief (also in PDF)
The objective for this assignment is to research and design solutions for improving the design of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) website (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/). You will work in teams of 3-4 to do the research and concept ideation as part of CIM 643 and will build interactive prototypes of your final concept in CIM 690.
Your design goal is to improve the usability of the NHC site including prototyping a version of the site that is responsive (where the site’s design adapts to different devices) and accessible to users relying on screen readers to interpret the website.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is the division of the United States’ National Weather Service responsible for tracking and predicting weather systems within the tropics between the Prime Meridian and the 140th meridian west poleward to the 30th parallel north in the northeast Pacific ocean and the 31st parallel north in the northern Atlantic ocean (see image of zone). The NHC aims to be a trusted source, and first alert and preferred partner for environmental prediction services.
The NHC is a team of science, technical and administrative specialists dedicated to saving lives, mitigating property loss, and improving economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts and analyses of hazardous tropical weather, and by increasing understanding of these hazards. NHC is part of NCEP – National Centers for Environmental Prediction.
Research & Design
Before designing a solution, each team needs to understand the context for its use. We will employ human centered design (HCD) techniques both in-class and outside of class to identify target users, the objectives of the NHC, and the needs of its users. This includes but not limited to stakeholder mapping, interviewing, and heuristic review. You will have an opportunity to ask questions from a hurricane subject matter expert (SME) in class, and you will be required to identify and seek out additional key stakeholders.
You will learn principles for designing responsive and accessible websites in CIM 690.