Rethinking Admissions for Arizona State University's Teachers College

A laptop with a screen showing the first-year students admission page for ASU's Teachers College.
About the Project

In the competitive landscape of higher education, a college’s admission pages serve as the path to attracting and informing prospective students. The goal of this redesign was to create an experience that is intuitive, informative, and exciting, ultimately inspiring students to embark on their academic journey.

I worked as the User Experience Designer alongside Angela Stephens, the College's Front-End Developer.

Starting with the Research

Without a dedicated research team, I prioritized diving into all the research I could find. My methods included the following:

Evaluating the student journey map developed by EdPlus allowed me to zoom out to see the full student experience and narrow in on the crucial part admission plays in this student journey. I was able to identify what students arrive at this stage knowing in addition to the information they'll need available after they're admitted.

The Challenge

The previous Teachers College admission pages were facing a lack of clarity in information in addition to outdated and inconsistent design elements. When the screens below were laid side-by-side, it was clear the hero size, H1 styles, and structures widely ranged, feeling like each page belonged to a different college.

The Solution

By providing students with intuitive navigation, cohesive design, and useful information, they will have a more trustworthy impression of the college and feel assured as they pursue higher education at this institution.

The Parameters

As an institution of higher education in the United States, ASU must comply with level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, and it was my goal to meet and exceed these standards. In addition to accessibility, web projects must utilize the in-house Unity Design System and be built within the constraints of Webspark, ASU's Enterprise content management system. Understanding these parameters offered exciting pathways to create accessible, intuitive, and engaging solutions.

The Design

The information architecture was restructured to streamline students ability to self-identify where they are in the admissions process and access essential details such as program offerings, admission requirements, and financial aid options.

Visual design played a pivotal role in elevating the user experience. Vibrant use of the ASU color palette and dynamic imagery were employed to create a visually engaging interface that captures the attention of prospective students. Clear calls-to-action were strategically placed to guide users through the admission journey seamlessly.

I wanted to ensure consistency between first-year, transfer, and graduate student pages, so I used matching design elements so that all pages were cohesive.

Handoff to Developer

Being a team of two means I work very closely with our Front-End Developer. We work collaboratively to ensure the design is created and organized suitably for development. This includes having a clear hierarchy of title tags, clear direction for mobile, and images that are organized and labeled correctly which also boosts search engine optimization.

When the pages were built on the test and then the live site, I conducted a quality assurance review to ensure the design was built correctly on desktop and mobile and to ensure all links worked.

Outcomes

Feedback from both prospective students and college stakeholders was overwhelmingly positive. Prospective students praised the clarity and accessibility of information, while college administrators noted an increase in engagement metrics and inquiries from interested applicants. Our Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) dramatically increased on desktop and mobile.