Lesley.edu

Lesley.edu redesign

Lesley website on mobile phoneChallenge: 

  • The site was not responsive and our mobile traffic was growing.
  • The bounce rate was climbing.
  • There was no formal navigation–any web editor could create an ad-hoc menu system. Users would often get lost.

Process

  • I led the process of writing the RFP and building and co-leading, with the Chief Information Officer, a cross-departmental Website Advisory Committee to keep the project aligned with university goals.
  • After the selection of firm(s) and CMS (Drupal), I managed the work of external designers, UX strategists, developers and content strategists.
  • We worked alongside our design firm as they held round table discussions with stakeholders and developed a survey for the wider university community.
  • Our team also worked with a UX designer to conduct user testing at various key points of the project allowing for an iterative design and development process.
  • The major decision from the discovery process was to implement an Areas of Study navigational structure as a way to highlight Lesley’s work across schools and degrees rather than the siloed and disconnected previous content structure.
  • Along with our AVP of Marketing, I visited various committees and teams on-campus to present our initial navigational structure and answer any questions. We relied on the data from stakeholder interviews and surveys to back-up our decisions. At times, we were pushed by internal priorities to change either our top-level navigation or other menus and taxonomies we had proposed.
  • Upon completion of the project, I hired and managed an outside vendor to conduct an accessibility audit, prompting the university to establish an Accessibility Task Force. I co-lead the task force with University Counsel to assure all University digital properties maintain WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance.

Results:

Since launch in July 2017, the site has seen:

  • 12% increase in numbers of sessions per user
  • lowering of the bounce rate by 27%
  • 7.49% increase in session duration
  • additionally, our undergraduate organic leads are up by 11.8% and graduate organic leads are up by 21.1%.