NAU Extended Campuses Public Site
📎 Mobile Design, Information Architecture, User Testing
The Extended Campuses of Northern Arizona University (ranked Best Online College for 2015 by BestCollegeReviews) manages all of the University’s remote learning, both online and in 38 campuses around the state of Arizona.
In 2013, I managed the redesign of our public website: information architecture, function, and aesthetic design, in coordination with our new identity effort. The redesign is fully responsive, easy to maintain through the University’s CMS, and strongly communicates the Extended Campuses brand to prospective and current students, press, and business partners.
The site is fully responsive for usability across devices, even on complex utilities such as Degree Search and Term Calendar. Ours was the first truly mobile-friendly department site at NAU.
In order to keep site content fresh with minimal maintenance, new content from blogs, events and uploaded documents automatically populate sidebar widgets on relevant pages throughout the site. (For example, a recently-posted news story about the Nursing program at our Yuma campus might automatically appear on those campus and degree pages, then disappear after 3 weeks.)
Information Architecture & User Testing
I arranged a series of card-sort tests as part of our process of optimizing the site’s architecture:
We also do user testing of our live designs. Here is one example of a comment by a first-time visitor to our site:
“Overall, I think everything is here that I’m looking for; it’s laid out very nicely. I really didn’t have any issues, and I got the idea right away. I think the searching is super-simple… it has really everything you would need to make a decision.”