On an icy evening over Chinese take-out and protein bars, six members of the Coop’s web redesign group met for its first “charette” — design-speak for a kind of visual brainstorming session.
Jeremy Zilar, an online design consultant, asked the group: when we imagine the new foodcoop.com homepage, how do we describe it?
What feelings or values do we want the new site to convey? In focus groups, what did members and staffers say they envisioned?
Some words the group came up with: ownership, accessibility, welcoming, inspiring, transparency and functional.
Next, we considered the elements that the new site might have. The list included clear navigation, alerts about the Coop, a search function, photos and video.
It’s clear that eventually, a big goal would be to enable members to log in, check their shopping status and manage their work slots.
Zilar passed out large sheets of white paper and asked members of the group to sketch out how the site might look if they were viewing it on a smartphone screen. Then we taped each version on the walls to discuss.
Some sketches incorporated clickable photos while others were inspired by Google Now, an app that acts as a personalized dashboard based on the users, their location, their preferences, etc.
For example, it might state today’s Coop shopping hours, when the next Receiving shift was starting, etc. Maybe it would even include the current weather.
Ann Herpel, a general coordinator who is a member of the web team, said she wanted to highlight accessibility in her sketch. She wanted the navigation to be easy for people who may need reading glasses.
She also wanted the site to be welcoming to people who may not be members of the Coop, but are looking for more information about it.
Two more charettes are coming up.
Check back soon for reports on those sessions.