A redesign proposal for Fougaro's main website
Fougaro is a unique multipurpose arts venue in Nafplio, Greece. It is comprised of different spaces which promote art, education, innovation, and community engagement. Set in a historic renovated building, surrounded by trees and gardens, Fougaro aims to bring people together through the arts, food, and discussions over current topics. Its core values are: Innovation, creativity, access to all, personal development, community engagement and empowerment, cultural awareness, academic excellence, social consciousness, intellectual growth and joy of life.
We decided we needed to highlight Fougaro's spaces (i.e art classes, exhibitions, libraries) as well as how can one access them. We also needed to emphasize the events happening at Fougaro every day. Moreover, it would be best to visually connect the Artshop's website (Fougaro's e-shop) with the main (Fougaro's) website. We followed a user centered design approach and utilized the "User Centered Design Canvas" by The Rectangles in the process.
After extensive research, we concluded that one of Fougaro's biggest problems is its lack of communicating, through its online presence, what it actually is and what visitors can experience; This place is so versatile that many people get confused as to what they can expect when they get there. We needed to create a more comprehensive website and a compelling story around its brand.
- Pre-K and primary school children (4–12 years old) living in Nafplio and the surrounding areas. The goal here is to reach parents (35-55 years old) living in the Argolis community and who are concerned about the education, development, and quality of life that their children get during this period of crisis. These parents are aware that their kids do not have access to as many activities as they would in Athens; Fougaro could fill that gap.
- Foreign tourists visiting archeological sites of the greater Argolis region (i.e. Epidaurus, Mycenae, Nemea, Tiryns, Nafplio).Greek schools visiting Nafplio for the day.
- Athenians visiting Nafplio for holidays, the majority for a weekend.
- Intellects and the arts community who come to Fougaro for thematic events (book presentations, live music shows, etc.).
- Special events: weddings, baptisms, private parties.
Based on our target group and faced with a tight deadline, we proceeded to create some user personas. We utilized them to research and analyze how our audience thinks. They also helped us evaluate the frustrations, goals, and key character traits they might have in common. Through this analysis, we could resolve some past issues with the redesign. To built our personas, we used info and templates from fakecrows.com.
From our overall research and application of the user personas method, we found that there are different but also common needs among the users. The website's new structure should be based on these needs. The number one thing we focused on was to remove the excess information and create a simple and neat structure. We used high quality visuals to deliver an improved aesthetic experience and better highlight the events' specific timeline (what's happening right now, this month ecc.). Under every event's pic we added simple "learn more" call to action buttons to provide the website’s visitor with more direct options to get information. These changes could help the users get a better idea of Fougaro's purpose, goals, facilities, and events.
We believe that overall, the website needs to convey a story. Stories are the primary way we absorb, manage, access and communicate information, as well as connect with others. When organizations, causes, brands or individuals identify and develop a core story, they create and display authentic meaning and purposes that others can believe, participate with, and share. Therefore, storytelling is invaluable when creating a digital property such as a website or app.
Typography, colour palette, and every other visual choice should be clear and simple (keeping in mind the F reading pattern and other UX components) to help everyone, without any exceptions (e.g. people with visual impairments), have a great experience while navigating the website. Ideally, it needs to become responsive so as to be accessible from all standard and popular devices (mobile, tablet, TV ecc.). This would give the visitor the option to save his/her events on Fougaro’s agenda or Google Calendar.