Shoreline Community College

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

Project Activities

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

"Andy was brought on to help us with developing our program page templates, navigation and most importantly, our taxonomy. He brought focus and structure to what is otherwise an extremely daunting and complex project – especially for a small organization such as ours. Knowing our budget constraints, Andy was able to provide several proposals at each stage of the process with varying budgets and deliverables which really helped us move through the process. Andy’s ability to build customized service packages made it possible for us to stay within budget while getting the most of Andy’s many talents/skills. His periodic check ins in between phases was invaluable as he kept us on track to meet the agreed upon milestones."

Adam Staffa, Associate Director of Web Strategy
Shoreline Community College

Project Goal

Facilitate Program Discovery 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.
An annotated screen capture of Shoreline's usability testing prototype
Annotated documentation of the HTML prototype used for Shoreline's usability testing.

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