REI Website Redesign

By Sydney Jackson, CCED Research Assistant 

The U.S. Economic Development Administration University Center for Regional Economic Innovation (REI) at Michigan State University’s website is undergoing a user experience redesign based on a research project conducted by Center for Community and Economic Development student research assistant, Sydney Jackson. Her educational background is in experience architecture with a minor in graphic design at MSU. This project aims to update the site, based on interviews and comparisons from sites with similar missions and values. The research will be conducted throughout April and May of this year. Those changes determined to be enacted by the Center may be reflected as early as this summer. 

REI’s website aims to bring innovative ideas to reality in Michigan. It is also a place to inform and seed the community of local projects and to share ideas. Overall, it is a space for community engagement and knowledge sharing. Conducting this research will help make this mission more transparent and encourage users to join the conversation about community and economic development in Michigan. This work will be accomplished by enhancing the REI website’s user experience. User experience, in this context, means understanding why community members are using the site and selecting a design based on these findings.  

This research aims to define the needs of users and put in place a design that reflects these needs as a priority. The research will consider accessibility, user experience, and user interface design choices. The steps of the project include research, research synthesis, ideation and design, design evaluation, and final design.  

The end goal of this project is to have a design that is truly relevant to our users, is easy to use and understand, and encourages users to interact. To help achieve this, interviewees from diverse backgrounds are needed to understand their unique perspective.  

In summary, participation in this study is highly encouraged! Please get involved by providing your valuable feedback. For more information and to learn how to participate, contact Sydney at jack1421@msu.edu. It is estimated that project participation will take up to 30 minutes. Thank you very much. 

For information about REI and its other projects, contact Sydney Jackson, Project Coordinator, University Center for Regional Economic Innovation, jack1569@msu.edu  


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