FATbit recently completed redesign of Notebudd, a peer-to-peer platform that allows students to share notes, study guides, past midterms/exams or any study materials. Through the platform, users can buy and sell study material just like an e-commerce website.
Notebudd approached FATbit to redesign its website and promote it as one-stop knowledge hub for students. Whilst core objective of Notebudd team was to increase user base through redesign, there was also a need improve user experience to make it a preferred destination for students.
To succeed in its objectives, the website required a seamless user experience for the end user. This was not possible without understanding what the brand stood for, who the target audience is, and what role the website would play for its users. It is vital to understand that the theme of the website should always be in conjunction with the products and services it provides as well as the targeted user base.
Our findings during research phase helped us simplify the goals for Notebudd, and generated a set of recommendations for moving forward. These details would act as specifications, ensuring that all future design decisions were grounded in evidence-based research.
After various brainstorming sessions, our proficient analysts drafted mockups to give client an idea of our design vision. It was clear that homepage lacked substance, and required complete overhaul. Our team of information architects also felt the need of restructuring navigation to make information easily accessible.
We shared our observations with Notebudd team in an interactive session and explained our ideas, prototypes, and also got approval for our proposed approach.
After detailed analysis and information gathering, we moved on to the process of active re-design.
Homepage is clearly website’s backbone, and needs undivided attention. This is why we focused on a feature rich homepage with all the relevant information.
The login page was simple, and was not capturing user’s interest. Although one-click Facebook login was present, its placement in the header was not ideal. Login/signup options did not stand out from the rest of the website.
We wanted to ensure that only relevant information is visible to a user on the screen at any given time. In order to make the login/signup page stand out from the rest of the website, its color palette was changed to a darker theme. One-click login via Facebook was placed below the login box.
After detailed website analysis, we found that registered users spent majority of their time in dashboard. UI of Notebudd’s dashboard however needed rethought. It had a static design with little or no interaction with the user. The tabbed approach made it look more like a settings page.
We pitched the idea to transform the dashboard into a continuous page of live updates and feed. This not only increased the interaction level but also created a peer-to-peer channel. Relevant information essential for the user was placed directly on the dashboard, diminishing the need for opening separate sections. Badges were also added to the interface to keep the user updated with new updates and notifications.
Other features that were added are:
Note listing is one of the most complex pages from design perspective. FATbit designers incorporated an innovative design approach to handle it. Earlier this page just had minimal interface with basic information. The sole purpose of this page was to present users with a download option with no real information sharing.
We put a lot of emphasis on the user interface of this page in order to make it intuitive. Rather than just adding an option to download a note, we provided with in-depth analytics related to a particular note. This included number of downloads, the number of comments, how many found the note helpful.
Notes details (before)Click to Enlarge
The situation was same with the notes page when it came to user interface. There was very little information present and the page didn’t garner any interest. Screen real estate was also not wisely used.
Our designers proposed the idea of giving a preview of the note to the users within the page. This would inform visitors about the note contents.
Post-release analytics showed that this approach drastically brought down bounce rate of the webpage.
Another area where we found major scope of improvement was inner book details page. There were only three sections on this webpage: book details, uploader details, and query form. After working on different design implementation, we came up with a new interface that changes the whole outlook of this page.
In addition to the above-mentioned changes, our team of designers and developers also integrated some additional features to the website. The main aim of these enhancements was to create an active community and ecosystem of information sharing.
The website was the preferred destination for students to share notes, study guides, and study materials but we added another dimension to it. We added a new section where students can create events which could be beneficial for other users. This not only added another channel where students could interact with each other but also lead to rich information sharing.
While designing this page, special care was given to the interaction aspect.
FATbit researchers wanted to make Notebudd more than just a website to download books and notes. That’s why we added another section to the website where users could discuss program-related queries. The overall design was similar to the events page, but with additional tabs like houses program topics, program events, and program notes added to it. Users were also given option to add a topic or an event to the program.
Recommended Reading: How Much Do You Focus on User Experience Design While Building a Website?
Earlier Notebudd did not have any option to view a user’s profile. This made it difficult for users to interact with each other. From the start, we wanted to give a social outlook to the website, which is why we added a public user profile section. The design of this page was kept simple in order to accommodate user information.
The new Notebudd website has been launched with positive reviews. The site experience after the redesign beautifully reflects their brand and enhances the peer-to-peer services provided by the website. It not only provides an exceptional experience for users but has also resulted in rich engagement between students.
Initial post redesign metrics also look very promising when compared to pre-design stage data. With the improved navigation, UX focused design, and better content arrangement, new Notebudd has become a better communication and information sharing tool for the students.
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