Redesigning the ARC – User-Centered Focus

For LIS 643 (at the time called Information Architecture and Interactive Design) we were tasked with redesigning a website for a LAM orginization.My group chose the website for the Archive of Contemporary Music ( Our redesign project included extensive user testing including surveys, a card sort, interviews and observation. We used many techniques and tools common in the field of user experience design to make our proposed redesign as well suited to different users of the ARC site.

My Role: We split the work for this project evenly throughout, so I contributed to each section.

Description and Methods:

To begin with we created user personas based on our research about the Archive of Contemporary Music. We identified four potential users: record collectors, researchers, casual visitors, and media and entertainment workers. We then interviewed individuals who generally matched those profiles to gather more information about user needs for the ARC site. We developed an idea of the different information resources users wanted to access on the ARC site, including research options at the archive, events, publications, record sales, and music history information. We identified existing content on the site and highlighted possible service expansions on a new ARC site that could fill user needs.

Using our user research as a guide, we began sketching and wireframing a possible redesigned site. Two wireframes are embedded below.



After receiving feedback on our wireframes we began to design a prototype. We used the program Axure to create an interactive prototype to allow us to modify the prototype through an iterative process of user testing and refinement. After performing observational tests of users interacting with the prototype and refining the prototype several times we created the prototype available at the link below. The new site is a significant improvement over the previous site, allowing for better access to the information available on the ARC site, and improving the user experience of using the site.

Requirement: User-Centered Focus

This project sought to redesign the existing ARC site to better serve it’s users. We several rounds of user research, used digital tools that are common to the world of user experience design, and followed an iterative design process that is used in the technology and UX design world.