YAS Island is a short distance from Abu Dhabi and is a leading leisure, corporate and entertainment destination welcoming millions of visitors every year. We were commissioned to overhaul the digital experience for YAS Island, creating an immersive and interactive platform where users can easily explore and plan their next trip. There were many moving parts so project management and regular stakeholder meetings were vital and held on a daily basis.
Research & strategy
The project began with in-depth research into YAS Islands offering and a holistic map of the island was created with stickies on the studio wall. This map was our go to reference through the research & strategy stage of the project. It helped us to form our initial user journeys by creating prototype personas and plotting their journey around the island. This aided us in the latter stages of the project when we began to tailor packages around these personas. As ultimately the site is to be a fully functioning e-commerce platform, a habit forming strategy was also adopted at this early stage.
Planning & initial wireframing
As the platform had been through a number of UX & design sprints before our involvement in the project, we spent longer in the initial planning and lo-fi wireframing stages of the project, in order to find the right solution for our client. A number of interactive prototypes were created to demonstrate some of the initial concepts to our client, stakeholders and potential users of the platform.
Prototype personas & user journeys
When we had established a solid concept, rough journeys and an initial content strategy for the site, we moved on to refining our prototype personas and sculpting potential journeys through the platform. This allowed us begin to begin work on more refined wireframes taking into consideration all our users needs and goals. At this stage we also began to map out all of the attributes the user would require from each attraction on the island.
System flows & site maps
As we were dealing with a fairly complex platform with external plugins and potentially large data sets, it was important for us map out the entire system in order to iron out any holes. The complexity of the platform also lead to lots of variations in the site structure and the creation of a number of site maps. Ultimately a structure was agreed upon and any tweaks that were needed were reflected in these maps.
Wire framing & prototyping
Prototypes were used throughout the entirety of the project; from sketched wires on paper to high fidelity designs in InVision. They helped to communicate the progress to our client during the project as well as aiding us in testing ideas in-house with small focus groups.
Design & interaction
Working closely with UI and interaction designers, we were able to translate our wires into tangible prototypes that helped communicate our design approach to all stakeholders as well as the team of developers that would finally build out the platform. We were also working alongside an external branding agency so it was important to relay our UX approach to them in order for them to design around our needs.
Our final input on the project was to set the content framework for our writers and editors. This involved first defining what content we required for each page within our platform as well as providing them with a means to supply us with this content. We settled on GatherContent as a means of collection for the first release of the site as this allowed us to easily manage and edit required fields and quickly supply our development team with the assets and copy they needed.