CLIENT: Wiley Education Services
PROJECT: Student Journey Platform
OBJECTIVE: Deliver a self-guided prototype reimagining the application process for online degrees
DURATION: 12 Weeks
ROLE: UX Architect, Visual Designer
TOOLS: Sketch, InVision, Adobe Illustrator
Wiley Education Services has been a global leader in education for over 200 years, providing white labeled admissions solutions to numerous colleges and universities across the country. However, their student acquisition process had become outdated, expensive and ineffective. A phone based, manual process at a time when 57% of buying decisions are complete before a consumer ever calls a business.
Design and deliver a self-guided prototype that illustrates the key features of a digital student application experience as part of an impactful, engaging presentation to the investment committee which will bring to life the value of this transformed experience.
Our project team met with the stakeholders from Wiley for a design workshop in which we brainstormed and developed a storyboard that depicted key user flows within the prototype clarified the priority features to showcase in the prototype. Below is the high level journey map used to guide the discussion.
Our first design iterations “colored inside the lines” of Wiley’s pattern libraries, but lacked the self-guided discovery options that we had determined to be a priority.
The second iteration included a richer experience, incorporating key elements of the journey which included:
Ability of user to self-guided discovery
Leveraging tools like a LinkedIn log in to complete profile
Progress Tracker to give the user clarity of where the were in the process
To test the high-fidelity prototype, we conducted testing to:
Gather feedback on new product concept from potential users
Identify additional features to add to the design backlog
Identify areas within the new product to improve in production
Our Users included:
Wiley Client Service Team
Partner Institution Admissions Personnel
Define Hurdles of Current State
Our first step was to validate findings from our design workshop with potential users. Some of the quotes we collected included:
"I feel like it can be frustrating for the student when you're constantly asking "and we also need this and [that]." Things that can make the process feel transactional can feel like a hurdle." - WES CST
"It’s just getting to [adult learners] without the support of a marketing agency that is digitally savvy because we just don't have that in-house skillset..." - PIAP
"The student populations with whom we work are working adults with competing priorities and schedules that don't always fit into conventional business hours…so they need flexibility in order to engage." - WES CST
APPEAL + DESIGN
All participants thought that the service was well-designed and included many features that would provide high value to students. Some offered feedback to improve features or create new ones.
All participants thought that the prototype exceeded current expectations students have regarding the application process. However, some participants thought that the service needed to better serve top-of-funnel prospects.
All participants thought that the prototype provided a rich mix of different content types that would be engaging and effective for students. Most participants were particularly impressed with the post-application content offering.
Participants from WES and Partner Schools were asked about business impact, and all thought that the new experience would provide positive impact to the business and conversions and be seen as an improvement by business partners.
"This to me feels like what a high-end consumer experience should look and feel like, and for that, JOB WELL DONE!"
"It’s definitely something I would use for applying to a graduate program. It’s user friendly, and if I had questions about anything, there are multiple support channels. I’d feel pretty comfortable using this."
Partner InstituTion Admissions
"That’s smart. What’s great about it is that it definitely gives me the feel that…God…I’m that close to getting in!"