Kent State University's Admissions website, arguably one of the most important marketing tools for attracting new students, had over the years become fragmented, inconsistent and at times confusing to navigate. With university departments having to maintain several different admissions websites depending on the admit type (undergraduate, graduate, international, high school, etc.), it was time to rethink the website to focus on a more direct and simple user journey. University officials wanted to simplify the user experience of the website, with an aggressive timeline to implement the changes before the next admissions cycle.
Interactux worked directly with Kent State Admissions, University Communications and Marketing and Information Technology to devise a more simplified and unified student journey based on competitive analysis, analytics, user interviews and best practices in personalization.
Following that, we developed greyscale wireframes to quickly show template options and eventually, high-fidelity designs to demonstrate new design templates for use in a mobile-first web environment. We demonstrated our new designs using an HTML/CSS pattern library, which developers could utilize as a template to speed up development in the university's content management system.
Unique experience innovations included:
- Unifying several websites into one, allowing the student or parent to choose their “student type” from the home page, which would provide the most relevant information on subsequent pages through their journey.
- Dynamic modules that show relevant content per audience.
- An easier to understand admissions guidelines section and path to applying.
- A new search tool for finding a student's admissions counselor.
The project culminated with an extensive round of prototype usability testing with prospective students and parents to evaluate the effectiveness of the new navigational paths and designs prior to development. Usability testing proved that key audiences both found relevant information and calls to action faster and easier than the previous website, and led to a higher level of satisfaction with Kent State overall.
Interactux developed a style guide last document best practices and uses of the new components and templates. The new Admissions system will also be used as a framework that can be applied to other future departmental websites as well.