After working with Irvine Valley College (IVC) to design and implement a new Academics section of their website, we had the opportunity to continue our collaboration, now focusing on the entire website. The Academics section was designed based on the California Guided Pathways methodology, and now we were tasked with reimagining the entire website to better lead students through their academic journeys. From helping students get in, to supporting them while at the college, IVC was looking for a new, innovative design and streamlined user-interactions to better support the needs of their diverse audiences.
During Phase 1, we spent time understanding the ideal journey for a student to select their academic major. But that's just one part of the academic journey. Thus through additional discovery workshops, interviews, and focus groups, we learned about the student journey - from exploring options to applying to completing coursework to finishing. Using this information, we redesigned the main navigation to align with the milestones of their journey.
Prior to design, we developed initial drafts of content for the homepage and top-level landing pages using the Core Model, which takes a user-first approach to content. We started with the primary user tasks that were identified during the discovery phase and then prioritized what content would best help users complete those tasks. Using this method as a guideline for content development helped us ensure users are able to find the information they need as well as eliminate unnecessary, nonessential content.
Using the design and branding of the academics section as a foundation, we built a Design System. The Design System included templates for high-level pages, but more importantly, it provided components and modules that could be used and reused in different combinations. Design Systems also ensure consistency, brand alignment, and visual accessibility throughout the site. All designs were created through a mobile-first approach to ensure an optimal viewing and interactive experience across platforms and devices.
Development + Initial Implementation
We completed the front-end and back-end development of the site within Drupal. The site was built responsively optimizing for various devices (desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile). The site was developed based on Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility guidelines.
Following development, we used the new components and templates to implement the content for top landing pages. Additionally, we collaborated with campus stakeholders to implement new homepages for each student service department on campus. Using the design components, the departments were given fresh, unique homepages optimized to their content and the needs of their specific audience.
Launch & Post Launch
We worked with Irvine Valley College’s ITS department and the internal marketing team to create a strategy for the launch of the website and for collaborating with the campus at large. Following the launch, we offered continued support for overall site maintenance.