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“Andy brought focus and structure to an extremely daunting and complex project”

Shoreline Community College

At a Glance

I helped Shoreline College understand the journey users take through their Academic Programs offerings, and designed a taxonomy and navigation model that supports that journey from the user's perspective. Now, site visitors can browse programs by the topics that interest them—without having to negotiate the department, division, and degree hierarchies in which those programs are situated.

Shoreline Community College logo

What I Did

  • Baseline usability testing
  • Journey mapping
  • Taxonomy design
  • Navigation and template design
  • Content-first HTML prototype usability testing
  • Iterative collaboration with visual design partners

Project Goal

Facilitate Program Dicovery Based on User Interests

Shoreline is an award winning, nationally accredited two-year college with hundreds of academic, professional/technical, and workforce training programs. The “Programs” section of Shoreline’s website, however, was structured to reflect the organization of the college's departments and divisions, not the needs of prospective students. This made it difficult for website visitors to learn about and enroll in Shoreline’s wide range of programs.

Screen capture of the Shoreline Community College Programs prior to project work
The Shoreline programs page prior to project work

Project Approach

Discover and Design for the Student Perspective

The definition and description of Shoreline Community College (SCC) academic programs plays a pivotal role in how the college markets itself, and how it attracts and retains students. The goal of this project was to re-frame program discovery from a student-centered perspective, while at the same time respecting institutional structures and accreditation regulations.

Project activities included:

  • Prospective student journey mapping based on background research, stakeholder interviews, and baseline usability testing.
  • A standards compliant taxonomy design for program pages that captures key attribute and meets user, regulatory, and business requirements.
  • A navigation and page template sketching and ideation workshop with project stakeholders and staff.
  • Development and usability testing of a content-first HTML prototype, to ensure that the proposed navigation and page design helped visitors accomplish key tasks.

Project Outcome

Interest-Based Programs Browsing

Shoreline's redesigned program pages interface allows students and potential students to browse Shoreline's programs based on interest, as opposed to requiring them to first select a degree type. This approach has led to an increase in registration clickthroughs from these pages and has contributed to an increase in new student registrations for the college.

Screen capture of the Shoreline program pages after project work
Shoreline's program page after implementation of the design recommendations created in this project

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