An elegant approach to syncing up university-wide web design standards.
The University of Arizona is a rapidly growing university. The team that is responsible for managing the university's brand struggles with brand and design consistency between the parent university and it's family of schools. While the 'School of Law' for example, is a part of the greater university, the school has their own team of designers and developers responsible for executing the website of that school independent of the parent university. In response, the University decided to create a global library, based in Bootstrap, that offered flexibility to schools but also make it simple to adopt the university's brand standards and achieve a new level of inter-school marketing consistency. We were asked to help craft website patterns that the university would develop and distribute across it's school's technical teams. We worked directly with the University's Marketing Director and the Director of Brand Management to see this become a reality.
The team began with an in-depth heuristic website evaluation. The evaluation measures aspects of the existing design in an objective, pass/fail type of method.
We thoroughly reviewed and captured existing design styles being used on the current arizona.edu homepage.
Prior to making design suggestions, the team felt it necessary to review other college website and design tactics. The sites we reviewed came from our independent research and suggestions from the branding team.
One challenge the team needed help solving was how to treat text that was place over images. We provided a wide range of design styles to approach a solution.
Finally, the team produced a range of UI patterns that could be interchanged across college sites and webpages. The goal was to have a wide enough range of patterns so schools could produce a unique layout but still adhere to the overall university's brand standards.