BrowseBetter was an experiment conducted to better understand the acceptance or rejection of having the ability to customize the websites that we use. Because the web knows more and more about who we are, I am fascinated with discovering ways to use profile information to enhance online experiences. What if future websites could adjust to meet our individual needs based on the information that we provide? While it is possible to render a website based on the preferences of an individual, which I have created here, there are still many questions and concerns about the future of web design and its development. After taking the course, What Happens When the Internet Dies at NYU ITP, I have thought a lot about why the web is built the way it is, and how it should continue to be built in the future. How will we better design the web tomorrow to meet the needs of web users?
BrowseBetter is a prototype of an intelligent content management system. Similar to WordPress, BrowseBetter can be used to build a website. BrowseBetter is both a means to build a website as well as view a website through individual preferences. If a visitor enters a website that is built using the BrowseBetter content management system, and that visitor has a BrowseBetter account, they can adjust the design of that website to meet their individual needs.
The idea of BrowseBetter was born after I noticed my parents often asking me how to do specific things online. As a web designer, it came to my attention that there are many websites that all do the same thing but each are designed differently. I realized that this was the problem that my parents were having with the internet. It was not that they were bad at using computers, but that, after learning how to use one type of website, visiting a competitor website was confusing because everything was labeled and located differently. I used my parents as my personas at first, but later, because I was at NYU, I changed my persona to a student. In this scenario, the student was a girl who was enrolled at two separate colleges and wanted the same structure when checking her grades in her student portal at both colleges.
Shown are my wireframes using Sketch, my experience map, and a photo from user testing. I used Node.js and Express.js to create a server along with Mongo DB to keep track of users. I created a working login system using Express.js that hashed the password for security.