The brief for the new website can be distilled into two points:
- The website must be a comprehensive information source for potential students in their last year of high-school, and
- The website must be the go-to information source for currently enrolled students
Contrary to initially logical ideas of an image-heavy design (for a photographic college) and I decided on a design more akin news site than a gallery. While seeing student work is important to a potential student, it does little to answer the real questions students have when researching potential colleges.
My roles for this website leaned more toward Information Architect than designer; I gathered and audited all information on the two sites (then-current site and old-blog site) and distilled it to fit under one location, reducing the sidebar navigation from over two dozen items to a logical collection of nine (eight plus search). The site information was rewritten and edited by a small group for consistent tone, and was made more ‘student friendly’ under my direction (simple, straight-forward writing. No technical jargon.
Notices for current students was a big feature of the redesign, and works in tandem with the college’s Facebook page to deliver relevant information like schedule changes and job openings as quickly and succinctly as possible. While the audit showed the majority of current students preferred Facebook to receive notices, it was important for potential students to see what types of information was being posted while in the context of searching for college options for the year ahead.
This website project combined both my existing design experience and my newly acquired User Experience knowledge.