After over a half a decade of service and multiple iterative redesigns of Asuntomessut.fi website, we found ourselves in a situation where the technical platform had become severely outdated. We needed to renew the technical platform, make the site finally usable on the mobile, reinvent the content structure, redesign the UI and also refresh the aesthetics.
After concepting the new service and analyzing the requirements for content administration, we decided to switch the platform from Drupal to WordPress. And while the client wanted to keep most of the conceptual aspects of the old site, we did manage to slightly tweak the concept of the site.
To gain some insight, we conducted a quick series of user tests, where we tested prototypes and interviewed people from the key target groups of the service. Even the rather limited tests revealed a lot of new insight about the target audience, so we were happy to tune the concept based on that insight.
The balance between a news site, event site and a corporate site.
Asuntomessut.fi needs to communicate multiple things. We needed to provide the visitor corporate info about the organization behind the fairs, the event info on the upcoming housing fair events, the archived data of the previous events (such as the house models and visitor data) and also up-to-date media content such as blogs and news. Naturally there is a huge peak in the amount of visitors on the site during the annual housing fair event. Part of the challenge is to balance all the content to be relevant all year-round, and attract visitors to the site also when it’s not the season for the fair.
We originally concepted a dominantly media-driven approach for the service, but midway through the design process – during user testing – it became pretty evident that most users’ pre-expectations for the service covered mostly the next upcoming yearly fair event, so we decided to switch from the media-driven approach to a more event-driven one. Additionally, we separated the information on the organisation more clearly from the event, and concepted elements that would communicate the event experience better to people.