I explored solutions for improving the user flow of the website. I analysed the current sites Google Analytics profile, spoke to stake holders and reviewed feedback from website users.
Coleg Cambria needed help bringing their WordPress website up to date and they needed some ongoing issues with their website fixed. The back-end had become messy so staff members were struggling to make changes to the site, resulting in wasted time and a delay in key information being made public.
The website design had a number of issues too and the navigation made it difficult for various visitors including students, employers and staff members to find what they were looking for.
My first task was to audit the back-end of the website to and make changes to the content management system so that it would be easier for staff members to update the website themselves in the future.
Once major improvements to the CMS had been made, I explored solutions for improving the user flow of the website. I analysed the current sites Google Analytics profile, spoke to stake holders and reviewed feedback from website users to find more information on issues with the website.
Mobile Site Improvements
The mobile version of the website had many issues and around 50% of visits were made on a mobile so some improvements were needed quickly.
Here you can see the original mobile navigation on the left which was messy. Research showed that users were navigating to the main areas of the site far less than they did on desktops and hardly used the search function even though it was heavily used on desktops.
The improvements to mobile navigation highlighted the key areas of the site, made the search bar more prominent, tidied up the layout and moved the important course search feature higher up the page. It became clear quite quickly after making the changes that users were navigating to key areas more easily and use of the search function and course search both increased.
Exploring a Full Redesign
Along with the information I had from Google Analytics I had plenty of ideas on how to improve the website.
Coleg Cambria intended on doing a full website redesign in the future and asked me to help with the research phase so that they could discover what the various users of the website required.
I carried out some competitor analysis, created personas, set up forms to ask for website feedback, set up a card sorting exercise and prepared surveys for staff, employers and students. Along with the information I had from Google Analytics I had plenty of ideas on how to improve the website.
Some of the issues discovered were: a complicated menu, blocks on the homepage that were unimportant and cluttered the page, the hero slider not displaying well on mobile devices, sections that were considered to be important not being easily accessible and a poor experience when searching for courses.
Below, you can see my homepage concept which aimed to solve these issues. The layout is clear, the navigation has been simplified, the slider has been simplified, key sections such as facilities and apprenticeships have been highlighted and unimportant blocks of content have been removed.
Coleg Cambria used this exercise to narrow down their vision for the website and inform decisions on future design and development.
Microsite Design & Development
Coleg Cambria had a number of key sections belonging to various departments that they wanted to highlight. The current sections for these departments on the website were out of date and they were performing poorly. New microsites were requested so that each of these parts of the website could have their own unique style and the content could be kept up to date easily.
I created a number of these microsites and worked with the heads of various departments to make sure each microsite was in keeping with various brnading requirements of that department. The microsites I created were simple and easy to maintain. They each had a positive impact on visitor engagement too. The microsites resulted in far more brochure downloads and enquiries.
An Interesting & Varied Project
It was great working with Coleg Cambria and I enjoyed getting the chance to use a wide range of skills that had an impact of thousands of users on a daily basis. I was able to make many improvements to both the front-end and back-end of the website over the one and a half years I worked with the college.