Pfizer Website and Content Management System

screen shot of homepage

Screenshot of administrator view of home page from first stage of project (includes buttons for adding and editing news items)

Skills Used

  • Contextual Inquiry
  • Requirements Analysis
  • Paper Prototypes
  • Wireframes
  • Programming in HTML, ASP, MSSQL, and javascript
  • User Interface Design
  • User Testing


The first stage of this project took place during my summer internship at Pfizer R&D in Ann Arbor, working for the group that supports research computers attached to data acquisition machines. My goal was to design and develop a website that would allow the global group to disseminate information to their users as well as communicate internally. The format and colors of the site follow an internal template.

The second stage of the project began in the Fall of '06. I am currently working part-time for the same group, integrating the first website into a new, larger website for the parent group. The format and colors of the site follow a new internal template.

The use of ASP and MSSQL was required for this project.

What I did

I began following around group members as they performed technical support tasks, as well as speaking with group members about the goals and typical actions of the group. I also met with global members of the group to discuss requirements for the site and how they could be implemented. The development of the site was unique because although it is global, there are many information areas that differ between locations. Therefore, almost all information on the site had to be able to be filtered by location. Additionally, the dual nature of the site (information dissemination and internal communication) along with a need for site administrators to be able to manage all content through a web interface made this a challenging project.

I used Viseo to create wireframes and paper prototypes which I tested frequently on other interns who were not working on my project. Their feedback helped me to refine the information architecture of the site. The actual coding of the site took a significant amount of my summer, compounded by the group leaders frequently changing their minds about the content. Because they needed to control all content through a web interface, this required changes to the code and database.

To test the usability of the site, I recruited team members who will actually be using the site as well as people working with the lab computers. I created typical tasks for the users to complete, paying special attention to any areas I thought could be confusing and labeling, since my short time there was not enough to understand all of the internal language. I did not have access to any usability testing equipment, so as the subjects went through the tasks I made notes on sheets prepared ahead of time. From the user test feedback, I was able to refine several areas of the site.