As part of my work at the Center for Excellence in Higher Education, one of my projects was to re-envision the website that talks about the Center itself, as the focus is always on the schools, not the umbrella corporation. The old site looked like this:
It was in need of an update, but had been ignored for so long that no one bothered.
I took a look at it and set to work on what the new site needed. I determined that the goals of the redesign would be to:
- Make it visually attractive
- Build up the brand image
- Stay simple and redirect potential students to the school websites
- Modernize and make it mobile friendly
I also took into account the target audiences:
- Job applicants, who go through the site to apply for a job
- Journalists who might be looking for information about the company
- Potential students who might be doing research
From there, I decided to take existing content, trim it to the essentials, put a focus on the school websites, and use friendlier language. The new site design used imagery, a different color palette, divide the pages into visually different sections, and sport a new logo, using one I created for the meantime. The home page I first designed ended up looking like this:
After going through the first iteration, I took it back to my managers and we talked about what to include and what the executives wanted from this site. They decided to simplify it and get rid of the building image, focusing on students instead. I went back and redid the pages and cut out what wasn't wanted while adding biographies for the executives. This is the end result that got published at cehe.org
What I Learned
I learned more about the process of working with clients to meet their needs while having to compromise on design elements and let go of things that I wanted in but others didn't.