It was November of the previous year when Agro-Know responded to GFAR’s call on revamping the global forum’s website. Since then, a new collaboration started after Agro-Know was awarded a contract with GFAR for this purpose so our company deployed its consultation services in order for GFAR to rebuild the architecture of its main communicational tool. In this direction, we have been working on the reshaping of the information gateway by suggesting readjustments to the repositories, which will enhance the exploitation – exploration of the data by the users and therefore elevate their use at its full potential.
In order to achieve the above and decide what needs to be changed, as a first step we analyzed the existing website by highlighting its strong and weak points. During the initial stage of our analysis we examined – studied the users’ behavior through their browsing activities and we mapped down the way in which they are engaging with GFAR’s content on the website. The outcome of this mapping offered us a set of technical requirements that the global forum needs to address – incorporate in order to successfully renovate – redesign its website. Since GFAR is a global network of Organizations, Agro-Know decided to put GFAR’s members in the spotlight and give them voice to speak of their needs. Therefore we decided to follow a bottom–up strategy which fashioned the procedure of our analysis to be user – driven. We conducted a series of interviews with targeted questions in order to grasp the real needs, requirements and desires of the users. For the purpose of the analysis we profiled the users and clustered them into groups with the intention to define their key user personas. The profiling of the users aided us on realizing what kind of network GFAR interacts with, and therefore led us to decide what kind of actions need to be taken in order to formulate solutions – suggestions that will be in accordance with the necessities of the GFAR’s audience.
Having as a main goal to address the user’s needs, our analysis did not stop there; instead we are taking it to the next level. Our user–centric approach demands from us to receive extra validation feedback from the users. In other words, we do not finalize our solutions immediately but rather we expect them to be validated by the users. Acting this way we perceive the user as a mediator who guides us on the renovation of the backend of GFAR’s website. Simultaneously and ceaselessly, Agro-Know’s experts are combining their own experience, knowledge and research on the matters of architectural structures and data repositories in order to compose a well established proposal on the requirements and features that GFAR needs to adopt. The elements of the proposal will enhance the functionality and usability of the website in ways that it will become appealing, user-friendly and easy to use to both internal and external users.