University of Utah College of Pharmacy

WEB, INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE, COPY

Five years after the arc of responsive web design, the College of Pharmacy website needed to be redesigned to be useful on mobile devices. I listening to users, re-examined old patterns, and addressed needs of the many stakeholders a university has. I helped write copy, designed web interfaces and information architecture for navigation.

The University of Utah's College of Pharmacy has struggled to hold its ground in rankings and attracting students, researchers and faculty although being one of the most well-funded research institutions in the nation. 

It's public facing website may have turned away many potential students who expected easy access to information and resources. First impressions have lasting impact, and potential students age 22-27, expect more from their digital products today. When researching ways to potentially invest four years of study and $131,086 - $156,586, this digital product may not be selling students on potential positive outcomes and overall professionalism.

Timeline: Aug. 2016 - Dec. 2016

Role: Web Intern

Team: Gisel Gomez (Dev. Director)

Old website

 

Research

I started by evaluating current systems, then moved into competitive analysis and concept development. Research and user observation led me to believe users came to the site seeking solutions to unique problems, but they were confronted with disorganized menus, pages containing too much content, and also content with conflicting messages.

Most of the web today is used on mobile and this product wasn't viewable on small screens. The users we needed to target the most were potential students and this was a major concern for those users.

Exploration

Insights

  • Users couldn't access the site on their mobile devices
  • Users were generally unhappy with the experience of using our product
  • The school was loosing to comparable schools who had already adopted mobile in previous years
  • Site had conflicting & duplicate pages, misrepresenting information about programs, dates, and requirements users planned their lives around
  • Navigation wasn't meeting users' needs, and there isn't consistent usability flow given simple tasks
  • User goals were specific to user category, but were centered around accessing information about programs, requesting IT assistance, and searching for updates

Reconfiguring information architecture and menu layout options

Outcomes

I presented my research findings, personas and designs to the college and my team in December at the end of my internship.

I believe all users who interact with the new site will find improvements and room for more structure into the future. Students, teachers, faculty, prospective students, and alumni all use and rely on pharmacy.utah.edu for well organized content and accurate information so they can make choices every day. And now they can find what they are looking for easier in dropdown menus that make sense and access the site on their mobile browsers.

Prospective students can easily see what programs are available and read news about their prospective school from the front page, meeting a large concern of the college.

Landing page

Landing page with dropdown navigation

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 3.34.56 PM.png

User category quick links

Step by step to the PharmD Program

Limitations

  • Limited design culture in organization
  • The University of Utah Heath Sciences marketing dept. controlled all code changes
  • Most of my time comprised of educating others about design and ux/ui principles and working on other urgent technology tasks for the dean's office
  • I would suggest taking advantage of the new interfaces and concentrating on organizing content in a more useful way
  • I would also suggest giving users a way to address your main two goals (donating and applying) on the front page with two prominent buttons (which are not currently in use)