Sun Labs Portal
Information Architecture Challenge:
Create the navigational model for the Sun Labs web site to increase user traffic and length of user visits.
The Sun Labs portion of the Sun web site was already a highly robust web portal with an enormously deep and wide information space. However, it was lightly visited and visitors did not stay long in spite of being a source of rich information. The Labs wished to bring Sun Labs more attention and identity while conforming to Sun web site standards.
Working with the Sun Labs web team, we determined the following.
User Experience Challenge:
Improve the user experience of Sun Labs web portal while bringing Sun Labs more attention and conforming to Sun web site standards.
Sun Labs page before design
To emphasize the main sections we designed a tab metaphor. A sectional description would appear upon roll over each of these tabs. We used standard Sun web jump tables for the feature project and the featured publication to bring the user directly to deep within the rich information in this robust site.
After roll out of initial design, Sun web design committee reviewed our initial design. The committee required several changes to bring the page in line with the newly released Sun web standards (published after the rollout of our initial design) plus informed us of many unwritten conventions. These change included elimination of the tab metaphor, changing the jump tables to reflect the new standards, and redesigned the featured project to fit into the more Sun standard "in the spotlight."
The revised design still accomplished all the requirements of the Sun Labs team while being in line with Sun's updated web standards and undocumented conventions.
Visual Design Challenge:
Create the look and feel for the Sun Labs web site which could be expanded and updated as needed. Give greater emphasis than the standard Sun sidebar to a few of the major sections. Bring Sun Labs more attention and identity while conforming to Sun web site standards.
We designed typographic logo and used it for sectional headers by adding typographic elements to caputure essence of each section. Section headers activated by rolling over each of these tabs in order to stultify the marketing requirement without compromising the design as the entry point to the lab's information. We simplified page design, removing many of the redundant links. We designed a color scheme which could be easily changed with each new theme article. We implemented fonts and colors with style sheets for easier updates and better consistency both within their own content and with Sun style at large.
Adapting to the Sun web design committee required changes, we changed the rollovers from tabs to text in a jump table and redesigned the typographic elements using Sun specific fonts. We simplified borders with a monochromatic color scheme. We updated all jump tables to reflect the new standards and redesigned the featured project to fit into the more Sun standard "in the spotlight." The revised design still accomplished all the requirements of the Sun Labs team while being in line with Sun's updated web standards and undocumented conventions.
Client: Sun Microsystems, Inc.
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