The New Year: Looking ahead
Happy New Year!
Last year's unexpected challenges created the spark for the creation of The Martini, a collaborative platform for filmmakers. With 2020 behind us and embark on 2021, our team here is setting our sights higher. In the chapter ahead, we intend to carry forward a strengthened sense of gratitude, passion, commitment as individuals, a team, and a company. To guide us through the year, we have agreed that our company's mission is to provide a platform that would enable independent filmmakers to bring their vision to screen.
Working on our Information Architecture?
As mentioned in my previous blog, we are a very young company (the team was formed in late 2020) as such we have our work cut out for us. One of our immediate tasks is to organize, structure, and label the content of our digital platforms in an effective and sustainable way. The terminology for it is called Information Architecture (IA) (1*). The objective is to help our users find information and complete their tasks. For example, in the mobile app and web apps, we would lay out each individual screen so that the user can easily find the information they need. We would also create a flow that lets users navigate between screens without much effort.
The benefits of Information Architecture?
The internet is a tricky place to maneuver, Google has been blocking websites that has low valued content(2*) They do this to make sure that readers can find and consume content in our websites quickly and easily. However, valuable content would get lost in cyberspace if the IA is bad, which is not good news, for both the business and the users.
A successful information architecture for website creates an alignment across many concerns related to business. Business owners usually think about the bigger picture. They are more concerned about profit margin, expenses, customer base, and other factors. An information architect who is technically sound over his job creates a workflow that addresses all the concerns of the owners and stakeholders and also brings a certain level of clarity to the goal of the design, gradually contributing to the overall product strategy.
The Value For The Business
Below are some probable scenarios we would encounter :
The users will find their time not spent productively is they are required to invest a lot of effort than actually required to obtain information.
Potential customers who could benefit from our solution, will not be able to find our product easily, resulting in a loss of sales.
A not user-friendly signup page. If the UX is bad, potential customers will have a bad first impression and would rather go with an alternative solution. Information Architecture from UX perspective plays an important role in acquiring new members.
A website with contents of insufficient value, or redundancy, will have its site ranking reduced by Google. Information architecture for websites also plays a vital role in search engine optimization.
The Value For The User
There are 2 billion websites in the world, with 400 million active. (4*) As such we are competing for eyeballs with our users. We need to deliver the right content to the right user at the right time. If we drop the ball on this, the user will just move on to the next website.
Users come to the website to reaffirm what they already know.
Users looking to spark their creativity.
Users in a process of extensive research.
Users refinding items that they had sought before.
The next steps to undertake for IA
We had started on our goals for 2021 last month as such we are slightly ahead timeline-wise with our Information Architecture. Below is the checklist we are working on at the moment (6*):
Defining company goals: With our business plan, we have a vision of how we want our website to look like and the goals we want to achieve for 2021.
Figuring Out User’s Goals: With the independent filmmakers our primary target customers, we are ensuring that their needs are addressed when they visit our website.
Studying our Competitors: At this moment, we are in a unique spot in the market place but having said that we do have some competitors who provide bits and pieces of the solution that we are providing. So we will study their websites and find out how they planned the information architecture from UX point of view. Of course, we will try our utmost best to stay ahead of the design trend.
Drawing a Site Map: Once the plan and content are ready, we will have to plan out how our users are going to access these contents. We have to keep in mind to ensure that the navigation is easy for the users to follow and browse through our site. One idea is to divide our content into relevant sections.
Make sure that our IA behaves as expected across the various browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Explorer.
Reach out to our EPAC (external product advisory committee) to go through our website uninterrupted and gather their feedback on potential improvements.
This Information Architecture is just one of the many to-dos we have lined up for the first half of 2021. We are very excited and eager to have them completed to enable our product to eventually play a vital role in a filmmaker's journey.
We are looking for users to be a part of our EPAC team, if you are an independent producer who is currently developing a screenplay, please do reach out to us through our social media accounts, Twitter, and Instagram.