An accessible, responsive, mobile-first solution.
Insights gained from our research into the application process of students applying to university revealed students navigating university websites were often left feeling frustrated unable to find key information quickly. In the case of Plymouth university, course content and key information often spanned multiple pages. Integral to the redesign was to reorganise the information architecture and navigation of the site, including the consolidation of information on course pages and reducing key content to a single page.
Additionally a style guide was created, providing guidelines to the university on accessibility, page layouts and fonts. This would enable staff to work autonomously in the future whilst ensuring style guidelines were adhered to, therefore maintaining consistency throughout the site.
Our approach to prototyping is to sketch ideas and then rapidly translate these to HTML and CSS, using real content and applying visual design and language. In taking this approach the product could be displayed in a browser, on a phone, tablet or desktop, therefore giving a more accurate representation of the final product and demonstrating the applications responsiveness and the importance of designing mobile first.
Static designs are often difficult to understand and can often be misinterpreted and misunderstood, using working prototypes with real content gives the team better feedback from the stakeholders and more accurate results from user testing. An additional benefit to this approach was that the html and css could be reused by the developers for the final version.
Working in two week sprints alongside developers and stakeholders, we adopted a lean ux approach, developing a responsive framework, that provided a modular, flexible foundation that all pages could be designed from. A show and tell was scheduled fortnightly to keep stakeholders up to date and demonstrate the latest prototype.