Client: Academic Coaching, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
Course: Visual Communication Fundamentals Studio, Fall 2019
Timeline: 7 weeks
Teammate: Chris Costes
Prompt: Working in teams of two, you will design a new visual system for the Academic Coaching program in the Office of Academic Development.
As part of the Academic Development office (now the Student Academic Success Center), Academic Coaching offers peer tutoring and workshops for undergraduate and graduate students at CMU. At the time of our project, Academic Coaching was having difficulty attracting and retaining new student clients.
My teammate and I included a number of assets in our visual communication system, but in this post I am going to focus on our redesign of their website.
All entities at CMU are encouraged to use the university's CMS (content management system) for consistent usability and appearance. I was poised to give specific recommendations for Academic Coaching's website because I manage the Neuroscience Institute website and am familiar with the CMS and its capabilities. I could tell that the Academic Development and Academic Coaching webpages were hosted on the university's CMS, but they weren't utilizing it in the most effective manner.
My teammate and I provided feedback on Academic Development's homepage in addition to the Academic Coaching webpage. Although our client was the Academic Coaching program and not the whole of the Academic Development office, it made most sense to address the entire ecosystem rather than just one webpage within it.
We provided desktop and mobile mockups of new layout options for the Academic Development and Academic Coaching webpages, along with general recommendations for their content strategy. Our highest-level recommendation was to emphasize the human aspect of their services through photography and storytelling.
Below I've included slides that we presented to the client, as well as screenshots of the actual webpages (before) and our mock-ups (after).
Academic Development: Before and After
Academic Coaching: Before and After