FlexPath: A Case Study of Product Placement

 

FlexPath is cited as Capella University’s premier product and market differentiator, however, as you can see in the Before Image shown below, there was very little visibility into the product offering; the user had to know that they first had to navigate to About in the upper navigation.

If the user was able to find the product information, they were quickly overwhelmed with information patterns changing between one-column and two-column widths, lots of content, content that did not always drive the user deeper, and multiple Calls to Action (CTAs).

 

STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATION

My strategic recommendation (represented by the After Image) was to:

  1. Bring persistent visibility to FlexPath as a product by placing it in the main navigation.
  2. Re-design the content strategy and marketing messages behind FlexPath.
  3. Provide consistent presentation styles to increase the user’s ability to glance through the page content.
  4. Improve readability by bringing line length into industry standards.
  5. Create secondary tier of content that is persistent on all pages within this FlexPath area of the website using the right column; utilizing the space that was generated by the change above.
  6. Provide a content layout that supported a linear / timeline approach, as well as a non-linear approach.
  7. Generate a page design that supported known future growth plans, as well as assumed future growth needs.

 

PROCESS PATH TO IMPROVEMENT

The first step with this project was to win business and leadership support.

Building upon other strategic conversation in play with other projects, I  was able to walk the business through the current state of this part of the website from the user’s perspective.  We walked through the existing pages of the website, completed Google searches, ran a mock 5 Second Test, and discussed the current page design.  Using a white board, I sketched out a high-level plan of how a new page might look, discussed usability enhancements that we would like to implement with this enhancement, showed them a high level traffic plan of how the content might be interacted with from their other digital properties, and discussed high-level steps that might be needed to get us to planning documents and design mock-ups.

With tentative approval during the meeting, I sketched out a step-by-step plan with the Program Manager on how we recommended to proceed.  This can be seen in Image 3 below.

User Experience hosted a brainstorming session with Creative Design, Copy Writers, the Program Manager, Brand, and Marketing where we:

  1. reviewed all the existing pages, content and design,
  2. created a new high-level content plan,
  3. used sticky note process to re-prioritize the content,
  4. created new page plans and page hierarchy around the newly prioritized content, and
  5. listed overall design standards that we desired in the new page layouts.

Using this planning information, User Experience built wire frames, confirmed with the business that new pages met their business objectives, and met with Creative Design and Content Writer teams to outline the new experience plan.

With all teams now engaged, UX turned to a monitoring role to ensure that creative designs, content and page mock-ups were in line with the desired state and maintained the business objectives defined.

 

THE RESULTS

As a result of the implemented strategic recommendations, we:

  • Increased FlexPath visits 9% YoY with minor tweaks to IA.
  • Led a 45% increase in FlexPath assessments taken through a re-design of the assessment tool strategy. See FlexPath Assessment: A Case Study in Mobilization for more detailed information.
  • Increased the average weekly content visits 34% over the previous weekly average.
  • Provided visibility into funnel traction.
  • Increased participation rate to 31% – a 91% improvement.

 

CONCLUSION

Working together as a team to enhance an existing website lead to significant improvements in the overall performance of these pages.  The enhancements also lead to proven process improvements being implemented and new ways of collaborating.

 

Use my Contact Form to request more detailed information of the case study, wire frames or more detailed results.  Mention FlexPath in your request.

ROLE:  UX Strategy
UX TEAM: Matthew Luken and Nathan Diebel
PROGRAM MANAGEMENT: Sara Lehocky

 

FlexPath before
Image 1: BEFORE – FlexPath before strategic recommendations

 

FlexPath after
Image 2: AFTER – FlexPath after implemented strategic recommendations

 

Process Diagram of how we can enhance FlexPath
Image 3: PROCESS – how might we move from today to an enhanced state