CfDR undertook a user-needs study in relation to the ‘Research and Consultancy’ section of Northumbria University’s website. In support of a planned redevelopment, the University required a stakeholder/user-needs study. This user-needs study would aim to identify key features and resources required by the internal stakeholders and external user groups. This would inform the way in which content would be structured and delivered in the new ‘Research and Consultancy’ resource. Due to the timescale and budgetary constraints of the project would not allow for preliminary research to be conducted with real end-users so instead the design team elected to work with a large group of stakeholders as ‘surrogate users’. The focus group conducted with these surrogate users identified key motives of different user groups when accessing the website. As a result, six key features were identified and recommendations were made to the web development team on their specifications. These specifications were put into place through the Northumbria’s new Expert Directory resource (see below).
An academic paper has been written about this project and can be found here.