When PhD advisors contacted me asking if I could help them design and develop a website for their research, I jumped at the opportunity. Currently in development, is a site that showcases the research of Dr. Jason Yaeger and Dr. M. Kathryn Brown—two of the University of Texas at San Antonio's premier Maya archaologists.
How can a research-based site targeted at funding organizations also act as an informative site for researchers and a memory hub for field school student?
Because the site has to serve the dual purpose of being informative and entertaining, I designed a navigation system and visual aesthetic to address both.
A very intuitive navigation system has been created. Each link provides a direct path to the research being conducted by each archaeologist. The Field School link provides a quick path for field school students to view their time working in Belize.
As a former PhD student, I have a good understanding of how researchers engage with information. Researchers want information quickly and aren't overly concerned with the aesthetics of a site. In terms of the field school students, I contacted several of them to understand what their user journey is when they seek information about their experiences abroad. They were not as interested in the information. Instead, they would like to have fast access to photos of their time at field school.