The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)
is the state's principal economic development agency. DEED programs promote business recruitment, expansion, and retention; international trade; workforce development; and community development.
As a state agency responsible for over 55 programs, DEED’s website is full of policies, program applications, and thousands of web pages. They needed to seamlessly embed a marketing site within the state’s already dense and complex agency website in a way that would not lead to confusion, frustration, or lead to a lack of interaction with corporate relocation experts for the state of Minnesota. DEED hired Nighthawk to create their new economic development website “JoinUsMN” that needed to have a very narrow focus and audience to assure that businesses looking to expand can find the website quickly and easily, access the information they need, and use the information to make their decisions to relocate their business to MN.
As demand increased for completely seamless website experience for DEED’s JoinUsMN site, we reevaluated DEED’s web strategies in order to meet these expectations. Throughout the project, we worked closely with various internal stakeholders comprised of executive, technical, and division workgroup teams. The end result was a newly designed and developed website that was designed with user experience front and center. The optimized, mobile-friendly website offers a customer-centric look and feel to make it easier to locate information and perform key user tasks. The new website is responsive and compatible with modern mobile devices and web interfaces.
The redesign required an updated, modern look and feel that was responsive to mobile use. The site was designed for all major mobile browsers and devices (iOS and Android). It was compatible with all major desktop/laptop browsers.
User Experience Research & Testing.
One of the most important goals of the DEED JoinUsMN website redesign was to improve the usability of the website so that site users could more easily find content and perform desired tasks. We began by identifying key site information and tasks and conducted card sorting and personal interview exercises with key internal stakeholders and audiences.
Wireframe, Prototype & Design.
Wireframes and low-fidelity prototypes are developed in order to represent the structure of information on the website and to visualize the content and demonstrate the basic functionalities in a static way. Rapid prototypes allow for first impression testing and online, collaborative review of the site mockup. Finally, high-fidelity design concepts are developed that represent the data in a visually pleasing and interactive manner.
Technical Support Services.
Technical support services provide additional resources to tackle minor and major development needs. After the site had been launched, DEED needed Nighthawk to continue to work within their development server to fix miscellaneous bugs and add specifically targeted enhancements that would increase the longevity of the website. Once DEED approved all work done initially inside the dev server, we migrated the code to their live server, production site, and then retested to ensure everything was working correctly.
OPEN/CLOSED CARD SORT
USER EXPERIENCE RESEARCH
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE DESIGN
WIREFRAME & PROTOTYPE
RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN
TESTING & QA
ANALYTICS & OPTIMIZATION