National Parks Services Website Redesign

The nps.gov website is utilized for several different reasons, one of which I personally take advantage of frequently, purchasing a parking pass. However, every time, what should be a simple, 5-minute task, turns into a 15 minute struggle through the maze of varying options and avenues on the home page. My goal for this redesign was to simplify the home-page down to a main call-to-action and increase visibility and visual hierarchy to the website's main goals. 

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Role

Lead visual & UX/UI design. 
UX Researcher

Timeline

4 weeks,
August 18-September 20

Tools

Figma, InVision,
Adobe Illustrator

The Challenge

How can parker-goers easily find information and purchase specific needs for their local parks?

The Solution

Design the home-page to simplify information and multiple tabs down to concise tabs that have clear actions.

Research 

I started off by conducing a survey, with over 50 people filling out the form. People who frequented National Parks reported having difficulty finding finding the links to purchase the parking pass, specifically due to the confusing wording on the instructions. During interviews, most stated that once they found the correct page, the process was relatively simple.

User Persona

Based off of the information collected through surveys and interviews, I was able to put together a user persona whom we will follow through this journey!

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Why does Jason visit nps.gov?

Jason is an avid hiker and often likes to visit Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, however, they recently began requiring payments for parking. He was directed to this website to pay for parking.

nps.gov > Home Screen > Find A Park > Georgia > Kennesaw Mountain National > Plan Your Visit > Basic Information > Fees and Passes > Pass Information > Buy Your Pass Online (image)

Sketches

To create an webpage that users like Jason can easily accomplish their tasks and find out any additional information about there local national park, I brainstormed and sketched many possible screens and option to make it easy to navigate. I ultimately settled on the sketch below, I wanted to highlight the peaceful feeling of parks with rounded buttons and calm "natural" colors, but I also wanted to maintain the professional feel so I opted for a serif font.

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Style Tile

Click here to view the moodboard on InVision.

Heuristic Evaluation

In order to sort the biggest flaws and issues with the website, I completed a Heuristic Evaluation, judging the current website based on its
       - Appearance/Aesthetics
       - Content 
       - Navigation 

       - Efficiency/Functionality.

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User Testing

Using my sketches as a low-fidelity prototype, I conducted a few interviews with some special people.

Meet Jaden!

Jaden is a fourth-year psychology student studying at Kennesaw State University. He has recently taken to hiking on weekends and has been struggling to find out information about specific events at Kennesaw Mountain. I asked Jaden to give me his opinions on the sketches! Here's what he had to say:

"I love how easy it is to find out exactly where to park and all the information about passes. I only wish the actual website was this easy."

"However, I do wish that there was a way to save card information for next time."

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Hi-Fi Wireframe

Based off my interview with Jaden, I realized that it would be pretty annoying to have to enter your information every time, especially if you frequent national parks. Therefore I added an option to "Remember for Next Time?" where users can save their card information to ensure an easier checkout experience next time.

Mountainous Landscape

"This was definitely better and makes me want to come back a little bit more now. The process was really straightforward and the ability to save my information really simplified the process."

User Feedback - Hi again, Jaden!

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Reflection

This project was definitely an enjoyable but challenging one because it tackled an issue that I find myself dealing with frequently so it was hard to distance my personal feelings from the research. It helped me to understand the design process more, specifically the research portion. By analyzing not only the visual transformation that could be made, but also how the process itself could be improved, I was able to better understand the needs of my target audience.

Areas for Improvement

  • Add more informational sections specific to each park

  • Micro animations throughout the pages to add more visual stimulation

  • More accessibility features and options