Website Revamp—VRTO Conference & Expo 2022 


OVERVIEW

VRTO: Virtual & Augmented Reality World Conference is a conference, workshop, and exhibit hosted in Toronto annually about all new technologies defining the future of television and film production, production, design, and communications.

Summary of the project

In 2022 VRTO’s CEO and founder, Keram Malicki-Sanchez decided to renew their website because the conference would be moving out to an in-person event after two years. They needed a redesign not only to increase the diversity and volume of conference attendants; but to help attendants navigate and learn about the event during their entire experience before, during, and after the event.

Team

  • Jonathan Prias
  • Bernardo Lizárraga Magaña
  • Nirandhi Naidu
  • Gwyneth Samson
  • Lok Wun Shing

My role

In the first phase: Project Manager | Researcher | UX Designer

  • Managed the project, researched, and created multiple analyses for the design process.
  • Implemented UX Design skills to create personas, journeys, content strategies, and wireframes.

In the second phase: UX/UI Designer | Web Manager Assistant

  • Created the new website interface and layout using WordPress themes and the Elementor plugin, applying the takeaways and recommendations of the first phase.

THE PROCESS

Project Management

I worked as the Project Manager for the first phase of the project. In that role, I had to be aware of the scope and keep the team on track with our milestones and deliverables. Creating a RACI chart was the best way to inform the entire team of the responsibilities and accountabilities of each. Regular meetings improved the performance of the group and boosted the agile methodology, which let us do constant iterations.

Phase 1: Understanding

The first step we took in the research phase was creating a Current State Analysis. We used a whiteboard with screenshots of each section to highlight comments about the heuristics, usability, and design of their current website—2021 version. All those comments were summarized and transformed into key takeaways to have in mind when making the redesign.

In order to better understand the users’ needs, we conducted interviews with several potential users and sent an electronic survey. Finally, we made a Competitive Analysis and a SWOT Analysis of VRTO. The competitors we chose were top tech and VR conferences at a global level, including AWE (Augmented World Expo), Game Developers Conference, XP Game Developers Summit, and Collision; some of them will also be in Toronto, Canada. To make a selection of good practices and get some more inspiration, we evaluated their content, navigation experience, interactivity, and responsiveness, among other aspects.

Phase 2: Planning

The next step was creating Personas, and User Journeys to set the emotional and cognitive flow of the potential new design; these were based on previous interviews, surveys, and web research. We created a total of 5 personas; two of them with the “Attendee” profile, and the others as “Speaker”, “Exhibitor”, and “Press”. That allowed us to come up with the first version of the Sitemap for the new version of the website.

Phase 3: Implementing

In the last phase of the project, we created mid-fi Wireframes and recommendations for the content, the experience, and the interface to be implemented on the website. We used Adobe XD to test the design and different layout options.

At that moment we started the second phase of the project where I was recommended to apply some of the research insights and recommendations to the actual site, creating the new layout and interface. After receiving feedback from the client and their last iteration on the design theme they wanted to use, I created a second set of lo-fi Wireframes on paper.

After approval, using WordPress and some plugins—Elementor, among them— I helped improve the new interface experience by creating the front page and more than four other sections/pages; as well as the header and footer.

During the two weeks leading up to the event, I had to make constant updates to the website, some in a hurry, but always keeping the user in mind.


FINAL RESULTS

Working since the research part of the project helped a lot in creating a user-centered experience and maintaining VRTO’s goals and values. Being in the UI/UX design for the front end, after doing analyses and getting to know potential users, make the work more fluid and genuine. I must admit that one of the best things about this experience was working with such an excellent team of people.

The final result of VRTO’s website revamp


Don’t hesitate to reach out with this contact information if you want more information about this project and my role in it.

Get in touch

Email: jonathan.prias@gmail.com

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