The UCSD Tzu Chi Collegiate Association Website was a project done in a group of 4 for a continuing Multimedia Design Course. The Tzu Chi Collegiate Association is a student volunteer organization at UCSD. We interviewed student members, advisors, and officers on the executive board to finalize and reiterate our designs. Our website is no longer live, but it was implemented on a Drupal CMS.
Our creative brief:
1. definition Our completed product will be a greenfield creation of a website for UCSD Tzu Ching (which does not have one currently), a student-run chapter of a national Buddhist volunteer organization. Using the data we retrieved through user interviews and competitive analyses, we will incorporate our client’s needs and requirements in a modern and successful way to promote the club and strengthen usability. Taking into account Tzu Ching’s philanthropic mission, we will deliver useful content to both prospective and current members alike. The final product will share information and media about UCSD Tzu Ching in a warm and friendly manner that communicates core Tzu Ching values.
a. summary of content
Our redesigned website will be organized around the categories that are of most importance to our client and their target audiences. The primary content categories of our site will be as follows:
Event Calendar In a calendar format, with event dates highlighted for easy visibility.
Event Descriptions A brief summary of regularly hosted and large intercollegiate events, including photographs (see Photo Album by Event).
Officer Bios Information about each officer and their duties, photo included.
About (UCSD Tzu Ching and U.S. Parent Organization Tzu Chi)
More in depth information regarding the Collegiate and Parent chapters of Tzu Chi.
Photo Album by Event A dedicated photo album for each event, so users can peruse through an entire album of a single event, to get a feeling for the activities planned by Tzu Ching.
User-input/interaction A possible function of the website: user-generated input, such as comments on photos or event recaps.
FAQ Easily accessible answers to commonly asked questions, i.e. why officers wear uniforms, what Tzu Ching means, etc.
Site Map A quick and easy way for users to navigate the website.
As the main content categories identified by our user studies, we hope that these content types should constitute a majority of sought content in all use cases. Tzu Ching’s UCSD branch site will also differentiate itself from other service organizations and even other Tzu Ching branches by incorporating all of the above content into a single working site, a feat as yet unaccomplished by the competitor sites either in part or in whole (see competitive analysis for proof of only partial implementation by competitors).
b. estimate of total program size
The finished product shall be no more than 15 unique, static pages - dynamically generated event pages, however, may be innumerable. There will be concise event descriptions for the major events UCSD Tzu Ching holds (such as the “Everybody Reads” and “Campus Recycling” initiatives), each with its own event photo album. The number of photographs in each album shall be at the discretion of the webmaster. Lastly, the calendar containing these events will, at any time, likely hold at least four weekly events and no more than five irregularly scheduled events. Officer biographies shall consist of one photograph accompanied by a short paragraph describing the officer’s duties and/or fun facts about their personality. The information included and amount disclosed shall be provided by the officer; the number of officer pages shall be determined by the number of officers in the current cabinet, which generally numbers around 15 or 20 students. As the client has requested that media be a central focus, if UCSD Tzu Ching elects to include music playing capabilities in the site, there will be no more than eight Tzu-Ching provided or inspired songs playing rotationally or randomly. The embedded player for this feature will occlude no more than a very minimal amount of page space - perhaps five percent of the available open space of any player-enabled page.
a. client’s objectives
The two major client objectives for this website were taken from the initial client survey. The most important goal is to provide information to visitors, especially those who are new and want to find out more information about UCSD Tzu Ching. The client has shown interest in an “About Tzu Ching” page, as well as an “FAQ” page. A secondary goal is to provide updates about upcoming events or past event recaps. The website overall should be warm and welcoming, reflecting the familial atmosphere of the student organization itself.
b. audience’s objectives
Users came up with multiple objectives when asked what they would look for while on a community service student organization website. Of primary interest was to find out more information about the student organization and the events held throughout the year. A secondary objective was to keep updated on current events, by browsing through the events calendar, reading event recaps; there was interest in the creation of an RSS feed for real-time updates. Users were concerned with not only learning more about the impact the organization poses in the nearby community, but how the organization at large make a global impact.
c. our objectives
The design team’s primary goal is naturally to ensure effective information throughout, but we also recognize the importance of delivering an emotionally-connected user experience for people visiting the site. Since many respondents in the user studies expressed either their affinity for Tzu Ching’s family atmosphere or a desire to meet interesting new people with whom they could share experiences, there seems to be an advantage to using <WORDS> to deliver logistical and organizational information.
Primary Audience: UCSD undergraduates, ages 17-22, who may not know what Tzu Ching represents but who value community service. They are interested to learn more about the parent organization Tzu Chi, current advisors, current officers, event information, contact information, or simply view a gallery of photos showcasing their volunteer activities.
Secondary Audience: Current UCSD Tzu Ching members looking for updates on events, new additions to the photo gallery, and journalist-written recaps of past events. Members who wish to contribute to site material.
Tzu Ching UCSD’s stated primary goal for the site is recruitment; as such, the retention of their usually very loyal and involved members is not a primary concern. The site will, however, provide functionality to engage current members and keep them up to date.
5. personality and tone
Keeping in mind that we are redesigning a website affiliated with the university and the greater parent organization of Tzu Chi, we must maintain a professional look that still appeals toward an audience that knows nothing about Tzu Chi or Tzu Ching. We plan to reflect the theme of compassion through our website with welcoming photos and non-intrusive music. We will use the logo of Tzu Ching (the lotus flower and candle) as inspiration of branding and incorporate its colors into our palette (i.e. light blue, green, yellow, white).
Since the theme of compassion is so central to Tzu Ching’s mission, the site should strive for a holistically mellow, unobtrusive, and inviting theme throughout. Abrasive fonts, graphics, and color schemes (i.e. neon orange and fuchsia) which detract from this theme will be avoided. Division of content may also need to be more subtle than in other websites which employ harsh line breaks or garish color gradients.
6. current mindset
When asked about their current thoughts of UCSD Tzu Ching, most users claimed it evoked images of the group’s colors, blue and white, and the feeling of compassion. However, there is no data about what users think of the organization’s website, as there currently is no accessible website. Based on user-provided content from other Tzu Ching branch sites, the team infers that the official colors and the Tzu Ching values of compassion and giving are very central for those familiar with the organization. Projecting this and instilling the same mindset in prospective members is the current overall goal.
7. key target audience insight
Current members see the organization as a fun and compassionate place to better the local community. They repeatedly mention the family-like appeal of Tzu Ching. We would want to create a similar atmosphere on the organization website, such that new visitors would leave the website with a sense that the organization is very inviting, and that they would want to participate at Tzu Ching events. More involved members should leave the site knowing more about future and past events, feeling like part of the Tzu Ching family. Since recruitment, not necessarily active retention, is the main goal of the site, a welcoming website that encourages users to find service projects that they would love to engage in is key.
8. special issues / problems anticipated
A major problem we will encounter creating our site is taking the UCSD ACS Web Hosting Limitations into consideration. There may be a lot of functions we want to incorporate that the UCSD ACS Web Hosting may not support. We will have to work around those and do the best we can to reach a desirable outcome. To avoid any copyright issues, all photos/videos will be our own. Any references to the parent organization will be made clear and we will make sure that their are no copyright issues with the usage of any music files. After completion all maintenence of the site will be handed over to the UCSD Tzu Ching Webmaster; Team Watta Botta +/- will no longer be responsible for content updates. We will, however, ensure that the site will be easily updated and will strive to provide a serviceable, comprehensible back-end for all contributing users.
Innovations in Intelligent Vehicles is a video portal for students and professionals in the Intelligent Vehicle and Transportation community. We worked hand in hand with the Calit2 Communications Group to make this a reality. The portal can be visited at http://cvrr.ucsd.edu/lisa/innovations/