Establish User Profiles and Increasing Membership at the Ann Arbor IT Zone

image from final report

Wireframe of website redesign to improve communication and information access within the IT Zone

Skills Used

  • Contextual Inquiry & Observation
  • Interviews & Focus Groups
  • Surveys
  • Data Analysis


The goal of this semester-long project was to use techniques such as contextual inquiry and interviews to solve an information problem for an organization. My group was assigned the Ann Arbor IT Zone, a non-profit organization that is working to build and support a community of IT professionals in the Ann Arbor area.

What we did

Our first step in this project was to meet with the Ann Arbor IT Zone staff to discuss the needs of the organization. Through discussion, it was determined that we would evaluate the degree to which their website meets the needs of IT Zone users, and ways that membership could be increased. The staff felt that they did not understand their users to a sufficient degree.

To accomplish our goal we spent a significant amount of time observing meetings and events that took place at the Ann Arbor IT Zone. We interviewed fifteen individuals from staff to very active committee members to non-members that rarely participate. Additionally, we distributed a questionnaire at many events to collect demographic information about the attendees.

Once the data was collected and interviews transcribed, we began to analyze the data using groupings of central themes. For example, one central theme was getting users to be more involved through improved communications. Users overall were unhappy and frustrated with the website, but had many ideas on ways the website could improve communication and involvement. We used that feedback to create wireframes of a proposed website redesign.

Group Members

  • J. Nargis
  • R. Thompson
  • A. Vimawala
  • J. Young


report cover
Final Report
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