VANCOUVER TOOL LIBRARY COMMUNITY PORTAL


HOW CAN AN ONLINE COMMUNITY FOSTER KNOWLEDGE SHARING?

The Community Portal is a website proposal for members of the Vancouver Tool Library to share their expertise and projects online.

Made in Collaboration with: 

Mark Edwards

Christine Huynh

Tools Used:

Illustrator, Final Cut Pro, After Effects

Contributions:

Interface Design - Ideation & Wireframing

User Studies - Conducting User Studies & Synthesizing Information

Outcome: 

Proposal & Prototype for the Vancouver Tool Library

 


PROCESS

Major phases  in the design process.

 

CONTEXT

The Vancouver Tool library provides a large assortment of tools that are available for borrowing. Members join the Vancouver Tool Library by paying a co-op fee and yearly dues, and once registered they can rent tools for free.

The VTL made a call for submissions that outlined a number of issues with their current set and set a vision for their future site. This proposal focuses on addressing the one way interaction of existing website and extending in shop member interactions online. 

 

USER RESEARCH

Throughout the design process we were in constant communication with 4 users that identified as both primary and secondary users of the website. 

Aim: To better understand the motivations, tool usage, and overall experience of current Vancouver Tool Library members. 

Method: 1 hour informal semi-structured interviews 

Outcome: Clear idea of goals and activities of the target audience.

Four participants that represented the primary and secondary audience of the Vancouver Tool Library website. 

GOALS

Members

  • Easily singing in/out/renewing tools
  • Showcasing projects
  • Collaborating with members
  • Having a space and tools for fabrication

 

Visitors

  • Discovering what tools are available
  • Seeing what projects they can make
  • Searning how the library operates
  • Becoming a member

 

Administrators 

  • Keeping track of tools 
  • Organizing special events
  • Communicating with members
  • Ensuring a safe work environment

ACTIVITIES

Members

  • Checking tool history
  • Uploading projects
  • Asking for help on projects

 

Visitors

  • Browsing projects
  • Browse news 
  • Learning about workshops

 

Administrators 

  • Checking overall status of tools
  • Communicate news to members
  • Post workshops 
 

INITIAL PROTOTYPE BASED ON GOALS AND ACTIVITIES

 

USER TESTING

4 user studies were conducted with current Vancouver Tool Library members, potential members, and the shop manager. The studies utilized the Think Aloud and Retrospective methods and were approximately 1.5 hours long. Questions were framed in a way that put the users in the place of a member of the website. For example:

Say you just completed making a table with VTL tools, can you describe how you might showcase that project on the website? 

The results of the user studies aided us in adjusting the existing prototype into the final proposal.

Below are examples of how the feedback from the user tests impacted the prototype.