A window into the College

IfThen collaborated with the University of Chicago to transform its College website into an experience that inspires and informs prospective and current students, faculty, and staff. One goal of the design was to help prospective students imagine themselves on campus and participating in the vibrant student life of the University with others similarly interested in rigorous inquiry and the pursuit of knowledge.

IfThen attacked this work with a discovery phase that included dozens of stakeholder and student interviews, a detailed analysis of site traffic and usage patterns, a complete content audit of information presented across over 30 disparate sites, user personas, and a review of the sites of peer institutions. Our findings and recommendations along with design concepts were presented to University leadership in a detailed project brief.

In addition to creating a design able to meet the needs of a broad, diverse, and highly segmented audience while also conveying image of life at the College commensurate with the University’s world-renown stature, a key challenge facing the College was how to organize and present content previously housed in highly fragmented collection of sites with diverse designs and architectures. IfThen addressed this need through a content strategy that consolidated the information previously presented across a set of independent microsites into a coherent single site UI and a set of design components and flexible yet firm templates that allowed the College to organize and present its content in an efficient, easily used site design.

As IfThen and the University looked to apply and extend these designs to other units throughout the University, IfThen developed the tools and processes to deploy the University’s brand message and a coherent user experience across a wide range of sites across the institution. These tools include a style guide, design showcase, code management and deployment tools, and an on-boarding workshop process to allow departments and other units of the University to rapidly adopt these new designs.

To see our work live, go to:
https://college.uchicago.edu