November 5, 2003 Leslie Gardner and Joe Chervenak National Renewable Energy Laboratory - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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November 5, 2003 Leslie Gardner and Joe Chervenak National Renewable Energy Laboratory PowerPoint Presentation
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November 5, 2003 Leslie Gardner and Joe Chervenak National Renewable Energy Laboratory
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November 5, 2003 Leslie Gardner and Joe Chervenak National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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  1. What Makes a Great Web R&D Web Site? Highlights of the www.nrel.gov Redesign November 5, 2003 Leslie Gardner and Joe Chervenak National Renewable Energy Laboratory

  2. Outline • Where We Started • Support – What We Needed/How We Got It • Our Redesign Process • Putting It All Together • Lessons Learned • Future Plans • The Evolution of www.nrel.gov • What Makes a Great R&D Web Site?

  3. Where We Started

  4. Where We Started nrel.gov Y2K

  5. Start from scratch!

  6. Support – What We Needed • A major redesign would require • More resources • Management buy-in

  7. Support – How We Got It • Applied for funding as an NREL-wide strategic initiative • Initiative benefits all centers, offices, and programs • Management buy-in is a critical success factor • Web site receives more than 130,000 unique visitors every month (more than physical visitors to the lab) • Users are getting more sophisticated • Web site redesign is aligned with management priorities

  8. Our Redesign Process • Analysis • Information Architecture • Design • Implementation • Project Timeline Note: We validated with managers throughout process

  9. Analysis Phase

  10. Process – Analysis • Statistics and Search Logs • Focus Groups • Site Objectives • Audience • Formal Benchmarking Study • Distilled to Four Big Ideas

  11. Analysis – Statistics & Search Logs • Analyzed Web statistics and search logs to understand users needs • Findings: • Basic information on technologies is very popular • Users search on basic terms such as “solar energy” • Renewable resource data, online photo library, and publications are heavily used

  12. Analysis – Focus Groups • Held internal focus groups to hear staff needs • Results: • They want researcher pages • They need help answering inquiries • They navigate the Web primarily by using Google search • They improved our site objectives • They identified sites for us to benchmark

  13. Analysis – Site Objectives • Advance the Lab’s mission – research and technology development of renewable energy and energy efficiency • Showcase and promote our expertise, capabilities, current research, user facilities, and publications • Share our unique data and software tools • Provide nontechnical information for general audiences • Facilitate relationships with our stakeholders • Enhance the Lab’s institutional viability and image

  14. Analysis – Primary Audiences • NREL’s primary public Web audiences • Business and industry • R&D and business partners (other labs, universities or private sector) • Public policy makers

  15. Analysis – Secondary Audiences • NREL’s secondary public Web audiences • Consumers and general public • Educators and students • Media • Scientific and technical communities

  16. Analysis – Tertiary Audiences • NREL’s tertiary public Web audiences • NREL staff • Investors

  17. Analysis – Benchmarking Study • Initial review of over 200 Web sites • R&D organizations/labs • Universities • Think tanks & advocacy groups • Selected 44 sites for thorough study • Developed criteria based on site objectives • Example: How does the Web site showcase research projects, researchers, and accomplishments?

  18. Analysis – Benchmarking Study • Benchmarking study: • Provided an abundant number of ideas • Gave us credibility with both management and staff

  19. Analysis – Four Big Ideas • Emphasize research and researchers Jefferson Lab • Focus home page on our R&D areas CREST • Include more information to address general inquiries/FAQs NOAA • Develop new templates to promote consistency and improve usability Brookhaven, INEEL

  20. Information Architecture Phase

  21. Process – Information Architecture Pieces and parts

  22. Process – Information Architecture Information Architecture

  23. Process – Information Architecture • Redesign goals based on analysis • Structure information by topics that users understand • Emphasize research and technology development • Consolidate all partnering information into one area • User interests and tasks

  24. Process – Information Architecture 3.Detailed content inventory 4.Defined initial bins and labels Note: Primary navigation and terminology validated and refined throughout the process

  25. Info Architecture – Approach

  26. Info Architecture – Highlights • Clear goals and objectives greatly facilitated architecture process • Solved partnering with NREL by separating partnership information into R&D and applying technologies • IA team consulted on all iterations • Recommended consistent navigation and terminology on subsites

  27. Design Phase

  28. Process – Design A need for design

  29. Design – New Look and Feel • Corporate image and branding • Leveraged knowledge from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy template project

  30. Design – Wireframes • Worked with wireframes to illustrate concepts and get early validation • Managers didn’t understand impact of their decisions until they saw full mockups

  31. Design – Wireframe Example Wireframes

  32. Design – Wireframe Example

  33. Design – Templates • Template for corporate pages (we own) • Template for R&D subsites (others own) • Developed common architecture based on site objectives • We piloted one R&D site to begin working out issues • Required lots of time to collaborate on new template that represents diverse research areas

  34. Design – Templates Round Two

  35. Design – Templates Round Three

  36. Design – Templates A good template model

  37. Design – Templates Subsites use the template

  38. Implementation Phase

  39. Process – Implementation • Content • Coding • Worked with individual centers, offices and programs to redesign their sites into new template

  40. Project Timeline

  41. Putting It All Together www.nrel.gov

  42. Lessons Learned • Plan for the unexpected • Trying to lump all the ways we want users to partner and work with the Lab into one category was difficult • Staff is struggling with topic view • Hard to keep everybody happy • “Where’s my stuff?”

  43. Lessons Learned Where’s my stuff?

  44. Lessons Learned • Management values benchmarking data from other credible organizations • Associate Director buy-in was critical • Validation is tedious and costly, but buy-in is priceless • Hit ‘em high, hit ‘em low, and hit ‘em in the middle • Individual criticisms and input must be heard, but decisions must be made from Lab-wide point of view

  45. Future Phase

  46. Future Plans • We now have a 3-year plan (not 1-year) • We want to implement these ideas: • Develop FAQs • Formulate NREL’s research history • Use more multimedia • Develop comprehensive Information on all user, test, and analytic facilities • Expand technology basics information • Conduct usability testing

  47. The Evolution of nrel.gov