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Mockup of the MuSE Lab site on a laptop and smartphone
Building a website for the Mutagenesis in Single-Cell and Evolution (MuSE) Lab

Art in Research & Development for MuSE

Oct 2022 - Feb 2023

I was contracted by Art in Research & Development (AiR&D) to build a website for the Mutagenesis in Single-Cell and Evolution (MuSE) Lab.


The lab's goal was to build a site that would attract diverse talent as new funding has allowed them to grow their team. Based on a discovery phase engaging with researchers in this area it was clear that the site would have to present a clear overview of the lab's research activities, current team, opportunities and published work. The design we devised includes five pages which can be easily updated by MuSE's team who has little experience with websites. As the lab is located in France but works with a global focus, the site is bilingual, available in both English and French. 

Full site at


The project began with strategic discussions with the MuSE Lab's leadership. Specifically, it was critical to understand how the site could work towards their long-and short- term goals including especially the recruitment of additional researchers. As part of this, I looked at similar lab's websites to understand what common elements they were choosing to highlight as well as how they listed openings within their teams. Then, I interviewed five researchers to understand how they made decisions concerning the labs and teams they have been affiliated with. These conversations centered around the following questions: what did you look for when looking for when joining a lab? How did you find the information you needed? Who did you talk to along the way? What were the challenges you encountered? These interviews revealed common patterns in how researchers made decisions concerning their affiliation which I sorted through in the Define part of the process.

Muse Case Study Process.png

The discovery phase uncovered key user needs that we streamlined throughout the design process. These included, for example, that the people affiliated with the lab and their specializations matter and that the methods, specifically MuSE's interdisciplinary approach, sets the lab apart from others in the field. Using these and the other insights from the interviews, I created an empathy map to ensure that in the Develop stage of the process that we kept going back to users' thoughts, feelings, actions and words. 

An empathy map, covering how users think, feel, talk and do with a lab's website
Develop & Deliver

Using the findings uncovered in the discovery and design phases, we set out to develop the site beginning with sketches. We knew from the start that the site would be created and hosted in Wix so that the lab's staff would have an easy time keeping it up to date. Throughout the develop phase specifically, we made design choices that would allow the lab to update pages and page elements using a dataset, thus allowing them to avoid issues with formatting in the future. Once the site was created in Wix, with a couple rounds of feedback and changes to sketches and wireframes in between, we spoke to researchers again to test the site's usability and understand if it met their expectations in terms of it's content and presentation. The findings from these usability tests were used to refine the site even more and fix remaining issues. 

Wireframe of the MuSE Homepage
Wireframe of the MuSE Publications & Opportunities webpage
Wireframe of the MuSE Contact Us webpage
Wireframe of the MuSE Team webpage
Wireframe of the MuSE About Us Page

Check out the site in action at

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