SUNY Adirondack Web Site & Student Portal

SUNY Adirondack is a two-year community college with more than 30 unique academic programs specializing in workforce development. Students can complete their bachelor’s degree on-campus at the SUNY Adirondack Regional Higher Education Center or take advantage of the college’s seamless transfer options.

Website Strategy and Design

SUNY Adirondack was in need of a modern web presence to serve as the center of the college’s marketing and communications efforts. It had to be easy to use and broadly accessible with the ability to be precisely focused. Whether you’re a prospective student, current student, parent, community member, business partner, alumni or faculty, the new website would allow you to find the information you seek with one click.

The school requested a Drupal content management system to provide key staff members with the tools and ability to easily create, edit and manage content. Social media channels were to be seamlessly integrated into the site and an events module would be designed to populate activities that are relevant to a persona or section of the website.

User Experience Design

As part of our user experience design process – Discover, Design, Develop and Deliver – we performed stakeholder and student interviews to understand business requirements and user needs. After establishing personas for each type of person visiting the site, content was reviewed and a strategy developed for delivering specific messages to each persona.

We then designed the information architecture, created and tested low-fidelity wireframes to establish design patterns, interactions and page layouts, and developed a responsive page design that complied with SUNY Adirondack branding guidelines. The final step was to perform user testing and quality assurance, and provide Drupal training for web admins to self-maintain their new website.

Student Portal

During our Discovery phase, user research identified the need to reimagine the student portal. The school was using multiple 3rd party tools to provide account information, finances, grades, classwork, email, events and more. Students found it confusing to choose the right tool for the information they were interested in. To save the college money, we designed a dashboard that pulled the information most relevant to student from these different tools and offered it to them as soon as they logged in. If they were interested in drilling into more details, links took them directly into the appropriate tool. No more searching aimlessly! Currently enrolled students’ content was removed from the public web site, reorganized and offered in the new student portal. Convenient contact info and office hours of the student’s advisors were always at their fingertips along with counseling and tutoring links.