Metrum is a digital platform and service created with the goal to make it possible for scholars to explore, share and rate scholarly conferences from all over the globe, resulting in easier conference participation and more transparency. The following part describes the early creational process, that covers user-research, information architecture and design.
Beginning with the project and to be able to develop ideas and design in a user centered way, I had to empathize with the user, so I gathered information during the entire design process from a few people who attended conferences before to look for the difficulties in attending one and if the essential information could be categorized.
The next part was to create the rough information architecture of the plattform and to define how conference related informations, texts and numbers are being represented, therefore exploring different approaches of information design both technically and visually was critical and always done with customer specific requirements in mind to make the design process as effective as possible. At this stage of the project the workflow was extremely iterative and as the project progressed, the requirements for the product became clearer.
Once my concept and information architecture proposals for Metrum passed, I immediately began with the wireframing which allowed me to only focus on the placement of information without being distracted from my urge make the layout look fancy. At this stage the main focus was on designing the individual components, like the navigation section and rating section, of which I had to define the technical functionalities.
After the wireframing was done, a general visual language was created, consisting of a mix between modern typefaces and a more classical serif one, alongside the main corporate color yellow that also acts as a signal color and it additionally has light shades to add visual depth in some UI cases. All of this accompanied by small but valuable feedback sessions.
The project resulted in very detailed, finished design concept of the initial idea, that demonstrates both its functional diversity and its technical feasibility and as for right now, the project is still ongoing with the first stage completed. It is now the IT team’s task to implement the first version of Metrum with limited functionality as a proof of concept and to allow MDPI to conduct tests under real market conditions, which afterwards would enables the company to observe the products performance and later on decide on the continuation of the development.