I chose to develop my interpretation of the San Diego Zoo website. It’s not a complete redesign, I just wanted to see how some changes in the interface would affect the usability. After visiting the site I felt like I was being overwhelmed by input. So, my goal was to simplify without losing any of the important information.
I took the perspective of being an out-of-town visitor and decided what would be effective for me if I visited the site. First of all, I was overwhelmed by all of the colors. Zoos are generally colorful places, but it makes the website seem fragmented and hard to follow. I propose a narrowed use of color for usability. I also felt the current navigation was hard to separate from the background, which made getting around the site very difficult. There are also numerous ways for a user to leave the site, even if it is to get to another zoo-related site. I feel this detracts from site user retention. That’s why the related-site navigation was put in a drop down that doesn’t have as much prominence. The user can still have the information available, but doesn’t have it immediately thrown in their face.
Currently, the site does not respond very well to resizing. The navigation menu at mobile size is too much information for such a small space. I believe a mobile-focused framework, with components to maintain continuity, would help this greatly. My choice for this would be ZURB’s Foundation 5 for its ease of implementation and vast level of customization.
Next steps include coding the page to resemble the comp and implementing the interactions I mentioned above.