Re-architected a cluttered Web site to streamline navigation and focus its content on the essential user needs — grocking and using a new technology.
View the site HP Labs'
Background HP Labs has a revolutionary new technology for smartphones and GPS devices. Called mediascapes, they're games, guides, and stories — full of music, graphics, video, and animation — triggered by your GPS location. — HP Labs' site devoted to mediascapes — had grown cluttered since its launch in early 2007, evolving into a grab-bag of attempts to get the message across — none of which entirely succeeded. The process of downloading the toolkit and player had become similarly convoluted, growing into an amalgam of ad-hoc attempts to solve various problems that had never been integrated into a coherent whole.
The Project Focused the messaging. Revamped the content. Describing mediascapes and the Mscape technology succinctly was the principle challenge in making the site work.
  I spent time with the team exploring with them the essence of the message they wanted to communicate. I focused and clarified the messaging, and I created a tag line for the site.
  Since the target audience was primarily game developers, tone was important. It had to be anything but corporate. I cast the messaging in language that was concise, energetic, and had a bit of attitude.
  I stripped the content on each page of clutter and pared it down to the facts that addressed users' needs. I enlivened concepts unfamiliar to users with media from actual mediascapes — to make theory concrete. To make developing the content more efficient, I built a wiki where I defined the purpose of every page and outlined the content needed to achieve that end. Before I started to write the content for a page, I'd review the specs for the page with the team to make sure we agreed on its focus.
  The result was a straightforward development and review process that wasted no time on revision cycles.
  Re-architected the site. Streamlined the flow. I restructured the home page so that it focused on users' three key tasks: learning about the technology, downloading the toolkit, and creating a mediascape.
  Of the three tasks, downloading the toolkit was the most involved. There were different paths for different users — for developers, for players, for Windows users, for Mac users, and so on. I revised the flow so that it was simple, direct, and so each path had as few steps as possible. I created signage so that it as easy for users to find their path. I promoted the notion that the site should auto-detect the user's operating system and automatically offer the user the correct path — which was indeed how the site was implemented.
  The result was a user experience freed from the pitfalls of the site's original approach.
  Wrote a Wikipedia article. To help inform the public about mediascapes, I wrote a Wikipedia article about the Mscape platform, the underlying technology used to create mediascapes. In the article, I give a brief history of Mscape, describe the technology and the toolkit, and discuss licensing.