UT Arlington

UT Arlington was a cutting-edge institution with a 10-year-old website. I designed key pages that helped recruit more students and created a new tool to help them find a major.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a massive educational leader in the heart of North Texas serving over 58,000 students.

Tasked with redesigning key landing pages to increase student enrollment, I got right to work. I improved the user experience of exploring and applying to the University. I brought the visual design into the 21st century without disrupting the experience to older pages.

Results

01Increased key conversions

120% increase in page visits to a key conversion page

02Increased key page visits

108% increase in visits to key landing pages

03Improved visibility for key resources

Decreased searches for a key resource by 80%

04Reduced time to find a major

Finding a major is one of the deciding factors when a student chooses a school

An A+ solution

Because the entire website couldn't be updated at the same time, I designed new landing pages that “meshed” with the old. The new pages were WCAG AA accessible, of course. The pages told a data-driven story.

Finding a major made easy

Surprisingly, it was hard to find a major on the old website. I designed and helped with the development of this tool which significantly reduced the time students spent finding a major and let them see important details about that major at glance.

Discovery & strategy

I kicked off the project by locking myself in a room with decision-makers and admissions experts. I led an interactive workshop that included a lot of sketches and messaging. I left with vision, goals, and a better understanding of how students choose a university. I looked at analytics to identify user flows and pain points. From strategy to wireframes to page design, connecting user needs with the brand story was key.

I did my homework.

Research

  • Conducted a series of in-person interviews with students and parents.

  • Took a deep-dive into the site's analytics to identify key pages and pain points.

  • Performed competitive analysis of other universities both in Texas and across the country.

  • Developed a student lifecycle diagram based on a student's journey and key conversion points.

  • Created paper prototypes to test with actual students.

Wireframes

Flexibility & speed

Before the refresh, the University's webpages either used the same exact template or were completely different which hurt the user experience of the site. These challenges made it extremely difficult to react quickly to changes in the industry and meet user needs.

To overcome these challenges, I designed components instead of page templates. Every page could look different while being completely consistent with the UTA brand. This methodology helped to quickly customize the page to meet user needs while decreasing development time to a fraction of what it was.

I even created design guidelines to make the development hand-off smoother and align fellow designers.

© 2020, Hollis Harris