Harnessing Diversity: A Comprehensive UX Audit Transforms University Website Accessibility for Diverse Demographics
A Case Study
Jordan and Carrie from Colorado Christian University needed a thorough and expert UX audit. After learning from an information architecture review that their site navigation was less than optimal, they turned their attention to their analytics to see what could be done to address this issue. Not wanting to compromise other aspects of the website in their efforts to improve the site navigation, they came to Green Hat Web Solutions to get a comprehensive picture of how their website was performing.
The CCU public website has the unique challenge of having to serve the diverse audiences of three separate schools. Colorado Christian University contains a different school for high schoolers, traditional undergraduate students (who live on campus), and adult students pursuing higher education online. To maintain a website that effectively serves such a broad pool of students, Carrie and Jordan needed to significantly edit their site navigation without compromising the attractiveness of their website to any consumer demographic. They knew that, if their site became less functional, several rival universities could take a painful bite out of their crop of incoming students and transfers.
After talking with Jordan and Carrie about their goals, Green Hat learned that CCU wanted a UX audit to be conducted from the perspective of prospective students. Collaborating with Carrie and Jordan, Green Hat developed initial User Personas as representative student examples. Ryan then led a task force in auditing the CCU public website, meeting weekly with Jordan and Carrie to discuss UX changes, recommendations, and research results. Using detailed personas with names, contexts, motivations, traits, and goals, Green Hat analyzed the website from the perspective of each persona, regularly updating and collaborating with CCU on potential site improvements based on test findings.
Utilizing the user personas, Green Hat's UX team conducted various research activities, including user journey mapping and competitor analysis, with the support of CCU's web analytics. The findings pinpointed site navigation as a significant issue, as users were required to visit multiple pages to gather necessary information. Green Hat, collaborating with Carrie and Jordan, outlined specific pages and information that needed relocation to improve the user experience. While CCU's website boasted a visually appealing design, Green Hat identified areas of improvement, particularly on pages with multiple CTAs and excessive use of fonts, aiming to enhance the overall user journey.
The UX audit for Colorado Christian University included many documents and meetings with Jordan and Carrie.
Increased Customer Satisfaction:
Green Hat's transformative recommendations for the Colorado Christian University (CCU) website were instrumental in enhancing usability. By meticulously addressing the navigation flow, Green Hat ensured that users could effortlessly explore the site and access relevant information. The restructuring of the information architecture led to a more intuitive and user-friendly experience, improving overall navigation. Simultaneously, Green Hat implemented strategies to condense essential information and reduce visual distractions, creating a cleaner, more focused interface. These enhancements not only refined the visual appeal of the CCU website but also significantly contributed to improved usability, making it easier for visitors to engage with the content and navigate the platform seamlessly.
In addition to boosting usability, Green Hat tackled performance optimization for the CCU website. By offering valuable tips to increase page speed, the user experience was elevated with quicker load times, ensuring visitors could access information promptly. Furthermore, Green Hat identified and addressed hiccups in the enrollment process, providing effective solutions to streamline the user journey. This proactive approach not only enhanced the website's reliability but also contributed to a smoother and more efficient enrollment process, reducing potential frustrations for users. Through these performance-oriented recommendations, Green Hat not only improved the technical aspects of the CCU website but also positively influenced the overall user satisfaction by ensuring a fast, reliable, and hassle-free experience.
Enhanced User Engagement:
Through strategic enhancements to the user journey on the CCU website, engagement flourished. Utilizing a User Journey Map, CCU identified critical touchpoints such as compelling calls-to-action and pivotal pages. Following the optimization of this journey, CCU achieved significant milestones. Notably, the university was recognized as the 6th fastest-growing school in its division, a testament to the improved user experience. This success extended to an expanded online student body, with representation from every state, and marked the university's 4th consecutive year of all time high class enrollment. The tangible impact of these achievements reflects not only heightened engagement on the CCU website but also the pivotal role it played in fostering substantial growth and success for the university.
Colorado Christian University (CCU) benefited from the materials provided by Green Hat, particularly the comprehensive UX audit document and the final "UX slide show." These resources offered CCU a detailed roadmap for improvement, providing step-by-step instructions to enhance their user experience. The "UX slideshow" served as a condensed summary of the audit findings, streamlining communication and acting as a convenient reference tool for CCU's web team. With these materials in hand, CCU gained valuable insights and actionable recommendations, simplifying its journey toward a more user-centric and effective online presence.
At a Glance:
"CCU really appreciated all the thoughtful questions asked by Green Hat while working on the UX audit."
Director of Digital Technology at Colorado Christian University