University Students’ Council


Overview


My partner Paul and I lead a complete redesign and site restructuring of the University Students’ Council site at Western University. My role was UX and visual designer. We developed a child theme for an existing WordPress template called Divi, and built a few customized plugins using various APIs and dynamic data streams. The project was completed in September 2014.

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Key Features

To manage subsidiary services and organizations that fall under the USC, we used a microsite structure to house each different site. This allowed for services like “Western Film”, to have custom branding, but still fall under the USC’s domain.

Paul and I lead the design and development, and worked closely with stakeholders to get the site approved at various stages of the process. The stakeholders on the project team consisted of a project manager, copywriter, communications specialist, front end and backend developer (Paul), and UX/UI designer (myself). We had a dynamic team that self-delegated and worked smoothly.

UX Research

Our team sent out a survey to undergraduate students and USC staff asking for feedback about the website. We also interviewed key staff members who used the site consistently as part of their employment. From the 900 responses and various interviews, we used the data to create a report which would help create user personas. We narrowed the personas down to three users “Jim R. Ray the disengaged student”, “Lindsay daSoff the Updated Student”, and “Andrew Keaner the Highly Involved Student”. This shows varying levels of engagement with the site, and shows which parts of the site in particular each student will engage with.

Next, I lead a card sorting activity. This was done to find a way to optimize and organize the navigation structure. The entire team sat together in a room and worked out what made the most sense.

Through various research online, brainstorming, sketching, & ideation techniques, I put together mockups to present to the communications director, which was approved, then developed.

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Impact


The site has been passed on to the new Technical Infrastructure Intern at the USC. It is used by 30,000 undergraduate students at Western University, in London, Ontario. The goal was to provide engage students as well as provide easier access to resources on campus.