Purdue’s Office of Tech Commercialization.
This project was a challenging one in that Purdue had asked us to evaluate their current messaging and functionality for the Office of Tech Commercialization. It began as most project do, with a conversation with the main stakeholders to gain insight into how the current site was perceived to support their efforts. From the beginning it was clear that we would need a better understanding of what exactly OTC does and who it serves. We discovered via conversations and interviews that it serves three main audiences; the school itself, the research faculty who wish to market their discoveries (or patten them) and the tech scouts from various industries who are looking for a technological advantage over their own competitors.
Stakeholder White boarding Session
The white boarding session with faculty gave a much better understanding of how researchers attempt to market their discoveries and how Purdue supports these efforts. It was also important to create personas for these types of faculty to help empathize with their needs and how best to allow them to concentrate on what they do best, which is research, and allow the site and processes surround the site to accomplish the other.
We also spent time with industry tech scouts and discovered that they use the site and its information much differently than the faculty. This created a bit of a challenge in that the school wanted messaging, content and features to support the faculty but ultimately it is industry who needs to connect with the discoveries and bring them to market. In its current form, the OTC website does a poor job at supporting this audience.
Functional Prototype (explore!)
Try out the Axure RP based prototype here.