Case Study | Dubai Holding
Bringing the identity and history of a global investment holding company to the forefront- to be recognized by the city as the drivers of innovation and change.
As part of RBBi, I initiated participatory design work methods to collaborate a new strategy that would enhance the public presence and messaging of Dubai Holding, beginning with their digital front. From intensive visioning workshops to gruelling work sessions, we worked closely with the management executives of the organization to ensure the organization is set with a strong foothold.
Dubai Holding approached the agency with the knowledge that they needed a new approach in addressing who they are to the city, its people and their future investors.
With the rapid development of the city and its Expo 2020 bid win, Dubai Holding’s vision of making innovative change has been becoming reality.
As a forerunner towards these success stories, they needed a new website to inform the audience of the organisation’s structure, its portfolio of projects and initiatives across multiple sectors, and to illustrate over 10 years history and diversity of the organisation.
The website would be a platform cementing Dubai Holding as an established, credible and trustworthy entity.
THE BIG IDEA
Designing the approach
To leverage and incorporate Dubai Holding’s deep-level knowledge of the industry and its operations, we strategized a work process that imbibed the essence and principles of participatory design.
To weave a compelling narrative that encapsulated the strategic vision of the organization, I facilitated work sessions that ensured alignment and validation:
- Experience mapping workshop to audit the existing site and validate the identified audience journeys.
- Affinity diagramming work session for content definition.
- Speed dating as a design method to identify gaps, problem areas and synthesize solutions.
Harmonizing work methods
Working with incredibly short timelines and with distinctively different work methods within a team is the norm of agency life. Being able to engineer practices for the team that played up strengths of individuals in an agile environment is what made my work experience thrilling and rewarding.
As part of my role at RBBi, I introduced hybrid work methods to the team in context with the project. The identified nature of deliverables for Dubai Holding was centered around content dictating structure, hierarchy and ultimately design direction. The building blocks of the website was completed within various phases:
- Diving right in with team workshops to collate and analyse the existing and proposed information. The internal team included- information architects, content manager, seo and analytics specialist and visual designers.
- Card sorting and tree testing to iterate and construct an intuitive IA that ultimately increased discovery and findability of content and defined the navigation.
- Pair design during the design phase with cross-disciplinary team members for conceptualizing the master design.
KEY DESIGN SOLUTIONS
PAIN POINT 1: Absence of a story directed towards addressing the who, what, when, where, why questions of the organization.
A visual journey displaying the iconic flagship projects that now impacts the city of Dubai. It was important to design a future-proof solution that would be easy to update with the passage of time and growth of portfolio.
PAIN POINT 2: Existing and prospective Investors had difficulty finding and accessing important and relevant information.
Prominently feature to direct Investors to a dedicated page that is designed to house all investor relations documents. Bold and clean design allowing view and download of financial reports browsable by year and supported with a category filter.
PAIN POINT 3: Difficulty in determining the involvement of the company and distinguishing partnerships from joint ventures.
Designing a thorough interlinked journey of discovery to present the strong, well-composed structure of the organization. The site’s navigation structure also allows multiple fronts towards finding information:
Highlighting the companies that form/ are a part of the organization with topline statistics, relevant information, the key projects that make up the portfolio and their site to link off externally.
Positioning innovative and future-thinking projects alongside top-level navigation.
Listing all industries, giving an overview of the impact it has had in the city.
Landing pages of each industry providing uniformity in presenting summarized content of projects under each.
MY WORK BEHIND THE DESIGN
Introducing participatory design work methods to stakeholders
Affinity Diagram sessions as a systematic approach to the collection and evaluation of data. The team formulated recommendations based on the evidence gathered here.
The impressive corporate structure and leadership would instill belief in the organization.
Showcasing the breadth of portfolio would reflect the global nature of the group’s involvement.
A factual approach to reveal the depth of involvement in the build of the city would add credibility without appearing boastful.
Case studies can inform and make it relatable for the audience to get involved and encourage them to get in touch with the right opportunities.
Speed Dating as a design method for adding perspective and bringing rapid validation of structured ideas while still in post-it and sketch format.
Mapping the journey of the company’s growth over time and iconic projects.
Visualizing the impact the organization has had towards the growth of the city linking real case studies with areas of development.
Highlighting the guiding principle of innovation making it the central and core concept in the message, supporting a launchpad for future thinkers.
Finding a clever balance while bringing focus to the numerous community programs and initiatives that are responsibly run by the organization.
Training the in-house team in usability techniques
Custom-tailored techniques of building the core architecture of information included Task Analysis and iterative Tree Testing to measure the effectiveness of content groups.
INFORMATION DESIGN DELIVERABLES
Task analysis identified the relevant information groups that required problem solving, structure and the contextual crosslinks. An overview of this was captured as the Use flow diagram showing how people would interact and experience the website.
Content Inventory as a step towards information architecture -detailing the elements that would build up each page of the website. As a precedence to the sitemap, it informed the structure of content much like wireframes inform visual design.
Mind mapping to scope the labeling, grouping and hierarchy of content ultimately leading to structuring the site navigation.
INFORMATION DESIGN DELIVERABLES
The Sitemap derived from the use flow visualized with the grouping and labelling of content- giving an overview of how it all works together. Additionally it conveyed the hierarchy of sections as well as the methods of navigation being used.
Preliminary sketches put together to illustrate flow diagrams and give direction to the pair design sessions between interaction and visual designers.