Barb Loveland

Linda Powell

Date Released

May 2017


Web Design

User Experience

WordPress Development (Beginner Level)

Team Members

Natalie Ezabele

Blake Royer

Live Site

West Michigan Graphic Design Archives

West Michigan Graphic Design Archives

In the fall of 2016, after years of preparation, the West Michigan Graphic Design Archives was finally going live. A couple of years previously, the senior class at Ferris had designed the WMGDA website. My team's task was to improve the user experience based on problems that had arisen during the final steps of the website's launch.

The Problem

Since the website had already been designed, the overall look of the site was less of an issue. Project categorization, the search tool, and print capabilities ended up being the main usability concerns for the website.


Talking to the site's creators, Barb Loveland and Linda Powell, we discovered who the end users of the website would be: Those interested in West Michigan's design history (whether it be a student or a professional), design educators, and the current and future site administrators. Easily finding and discovering West Michigan design work, sharing that work with others, and keeping the back-end usable were the main goals of those using the website.

User Interviews

The Solution

The solutions that arose from the ideation process were these: An optimized print setup page for sharing pieces of work, a search bar/filter menu that made it easy to both expand and narrow down a search depending on what users were looking for, and a project categorization system that would make it easier for those uploading new projects to the database in the future.

User Testing



Product hierarchy was broken down into the following: parent project > assets (if applicable) > child of parent.

The search tool was split into two purposes: the main search is for exploring and for more vague goals, while the filters on the right are for narrowing down the search.

A high-res print page so when people want to share a piece of work they found, they have a high quality image with the project's information to go along with it.