To celebrate the recent launch of our VINE redesign, we sat down with our Design Manager, Lara Kirby Pardo, to go through a few questions about our research and design process. As a member of the Product team, Lara heads up the design team that conducts research, creates human-centered product design, and works to create the best experience for people who use VINE.
In the video below, Lara answers some of our introductory questions about our process for initiating the redesign and some of the key highlights.
Below, Lara shares a few more answers to our questions about the recent updates.
VINELink.com - National Landing Page
We’ll start with our national homepage, VINELink.com. This is the first page someone sees when they come to VINE through their web browser. Since the majority of people who use VINE come to the service through web traffic, we made several improvements to the landing page.
For those who have been to VINELink.com before, the first thing they may notice is the new look. The color scheme alone really stands out. Why did we make the decision to change that up?
Lara Kirby Pardo (LKP): With our goal to emphasize calm in our design, we tried several versions of the design before landing on the new one you see today. Our brand logo already included a deep shade of purple. The purple is a more neutral color than the bright blue and is a better fit for our overall tone. Also, since we do use blue to indicate things like text links and buttons, we needed to have some visual contrast.
Another color change we made was for our Quick Exit button. The previous design included a red button with the word “Escape”, which could be triggering to people. To refine this button, we changed the color to yellow, which signals caution, and is a complementary color to purple. We also changed the words to reflect the action of quickly leaving this site.
Another noticeable difference is the layout of the page, with several new sections and clear calls-to-action present on the page. On the old design, the main priority was really just selecting a state. What do these new enhancements focus on for visitors to VINE?
LKP: Those clear Calls-to-Action allow people to easily find what they need, whether that’s selecting a state, registering right away, or finding support quickly.
When we updated the section on selecting a state, we also added more information so that someone on VINE knows which state is on our legacy platform, Classic VINE, or the newer platform, which we just call VINE. Through research, we received a lot of feedback with regard to understanding those two experiences, and our goal was to make this easier to understand in the product. We’ve included a visual indicator to help show which states are on the Classic system. We also designed a modal with additional context to provide more detail about the difference between the two.
In the header, help is also easy to access with the toll-free, 24/7 support number included right there at the top as opposed to searching through multiple pages to find it.
I’m also excited to see new sections on the page that provide an opportunity to learn about VINE. What was our goal for adding these sections?
LKP: From our research, we discovered that people wanted more context around what VINE is, how to use the application, and learn more about VINE’s many offerings.
The “What is VINE?” section highlights VINE’s history and mission and includes a video to provide a different way to engage with the material.
The “Why Register?” and “Ways to Access” sections are designed to help people learn about VINE’s registration process and various ways to access the platform. The “Service Providers” section explains some of the service offerings people may see in looking for providers and includes resources and ways to get help in your area or nationally.
Finally, our “Testimonials” section helps people determine if VINE is for them. In our research, we learned that people feel more secure using VINE when they see how other people use it. We were fortunate to have a few stories people had agreed to share with us that we could provide on this platform.
State Landing Pages
Once a person selects their state, they are taken to their individual state’s landing page. For those states on the most recent version of VINE, improvements have been made to the overall navigation and layout, offering a more personalized experience.
When the page loads, the first thing the eye may be really drawn to is the four main action cards: Search for Someone, Look Up Registrations, Find Service Providers, or I Need Guidance. Tell me more about those.
LKP: As we researched, we saw that those were the four main priorities people have when they come to VINE. They are usually searching for someone, looking up registrations, finding a service provider, or wanting to be guided to resources for support.
We added them at the top of the page to make them easier to access. We also added icons to assist with identifying those actions. We know people who use VINE may come from all kinds of backgrounds, may have different levels of literacy, or may be using the site under stress and aren’t operating at full capacity. Using icons helps with understanding those actions.
There’s increased visibility with the Agency Information section, as well, with “offline agencies” centered immediately below the four main action cards, as well as on the Search pages once they select one of those actions. What feedback led us to adding this information?
LKP: Yes, what we heard from people is that they want to know if any of the agencies in their state are offline for any reason so that they know what to expect in terms of notifications or accessing information. And we heard that people need this info up front and center. If the agency is offline, this section enables them to get more information about those agencies and contact them directly with questions.
We’ve also added more resources and educational materials on the state page. What are those and how did we determine what goes there?
LKP: There’s a new “Learn” section where we’ve included a simple illustration with icons describing the registration process, so people can understand the flow of information from booking records to VINE and generating those automated notifications.
There are also video tutorials that help cover anything that a person would need to help them use VINE. These are also useful tools for victim advocates to use when they help people.
"Helpful Links" and "Downloads" allow a state to upload content for its VINE users. Again, we want people to have quick and easy access to materials. In particular, state victim services offices and advocates have shared that they would like to have easily accessible documents to pass along to clients. So, we designed this section with that request in mind.
Our "News" section allows more visibility of state information, as well as crime victim assistance and other key information. Over the coming months, states will be adding their content to this section.
Our thanks to Lara for joining us to answer a few questions about the VINE redesign. We are so proud of the work she and her team have put into making this a successful experience for everyone who uses VINE!
Explore the changes on VINELink.com today!