MIT website redesign(

5 years ago from Alexander Stocker, Founder

  • Andrew C, 5 years ago

    Positive: Very interesting concept! Love the double scrollbar kind of thing you guys have going on here (even though it's only one scrollbar). It's very well executed and feels natural even though one side is fixed. The concept seems curious and cutting edge — good for the brand.

    Not So Positive: Keep in mind I have little context of your users so maybe this has be user tested out the wazoo.

    Functionally I find it a tad hard to browse and understand. Under recent spotlight you have Muddy Charles Pub (today's spotlight) gone from the list. It wasn't until I hit tomorrow's spotlight (Parrish Bergquist) that I saw the entry and realized it was a curated list of MIT things—I would consider a way to help people orient themselves in space a bit. I had no idea where I "was" until I put cognitive effort in. Search links take you to external sites but these spotlight take you to internal pages? What's the diff? I read your content strategy above and it helps me out (across time not space/pages) but there's an easy way encapsulate time AND space in a historic format (blogs and timelines do this). I actually like the quirk of the concept overall—think it's neat. So maybe that's the culture and people you're playing to and it works? Functionally a layman is going to need help.

    The search bar type-animation draws your attention continually. Consider limiting the amount of times that animation cycles. I also found the transition that happens when you begin typing the search bar very jarring. Was hard to understand the results because of the huge switch in context.

    Good luck! It's a neat website overall with some usability kinks to iron out..

    2 points
    • Mike SwartzMike Swartz, 5 years ago

      Good points, and great feedback! You've honed in on two of the aspects that we expect to change most over time. The internal/external nature of the links are a very tricky problem. There are so many MIT sites and so many places to link off to. We try to mitigate this with the tooltip messages, but the nature of the network is that you're more likely than not to link to a completely diff site. The UX of browsing past spotlights is one that definitely needs some more thinking. Our feeling was to start by generating the content and trying on the approach, and then tuning the system as we can get more data and feedback from users in the wild (aka: who aren't just testing the site for free food).

      1 point
      • Andrew C, 5 years ago

        It's definitely a bold concept and it'll be great with a few iterations. In my experience it's not often a design starts out this bold—and that's a better strategy because dialling back is always easier than pushing the boldness factor.

        Best of luck!

        2 points