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Pedro Bare


Interaction Designer


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UX/Interaction Design

WES: Required Documents




Background


Required Documents is one of the tools that enables WES to give applicants a glimpse into what documentation they would need to gather based on their educational background to receive a credential evaluation. This tool is a key point for applicants at the awareness & consideration stage of the customer journey at WES.

The underlying goal of the stakeholders was to create an easy to digest and intuitive experience for applicants looking for their specific requirements prior to starting their WES evalaution.

Phase 1: Discover


Talking to Stakeholders

Based on discussions with key stakeholders - tool owners, customer service, and the marketing team I learned that:

So, who are our users?


  • 35% of customer service calls were about understanding Required Dcument instructions.
  • 15% of social media inquiries were Required Documents related, specifically applicant who already submitted an application and did not understand the requirements.
  • As per google analytics data the Required Documents page had an exit percentage of 49%, which for us was bad because this was one of the key pages designed to get applicants from the consideration phase to the purchase phase in the funnel.
  • Required Documents exists in two places: our website as a complimentary tool and within the actual application after users add their credential information - Required Documents in both these instances pulled from two different data sources providing conflicting information.

User Data

I worked with the marketing analytics to find out key demographic information about the people actually using Required Documents and I found: 

Our Top Countries by Session



Top Devices Used

This was an interesting bit of information because the current design of Required Documents was not optimized for mobile responsiveness.

User Testing - Current Site


We collected data on the challenges and opportunities of the current Required Documents website which involved usability testing covering key navigation elements, page flow and functionality. 

We asked users to perform a number of specific tasks, based on different user scenarios.
 
  1. An unaware user, not familiar with credential evlautions and WES.
  2. People interested in seeking a credential evlaution, and seeking information on how to get the process started.
  3. WES applicants who need to submit additional documents while their application is being processed.

Current Design
Aesthetically it was a visual dumping ground that didn’t do justice to the brand purpose. 

Key findings

  • Users were surprised with the amount of text they were required to read in the subsequent categories. This text density prevented the users from ‘skimming’ the text and finding the information relevant to them.
  • Many users hinted at the fact the page looked outdated, and didn’t seem “trustworthy”.
  • Users were unable to tell when they had successfully discovered enough about their document requirements and whether they should start the application process.
  • Users believed that by accessing the navigation from the main site they would be able to find answers to questions they had regarding their document requirements. 
  • Users were confused when presented when with specific university exceptions based on their country of education (Current state does not allow for users to enter their university and only recieve specific instrcutions)
  • Users discovered broken outbound links and glossary links
  • Page did not satisfy W3 A standard accessibility.

Phase 2: Define & Ideate


Affinity Mapping

Inputs for the Affinity Map include:
  • User Interviews
  • Usability Tests on the current website
  • Stakeholder interviews

Problem Statment

“How might we make the Required Documents tool more engaging, easier to understand,  and inspire users to begin the application process.”

Content Audit

There was no structure to the content of the current design - It amplified confusion rather than coherency. Our research identified the importance of copy and content as a key component for how users interacted with the site

There were 3 core categories of online users to consider while designing.

  • Skimmers want to find the information they need and get out as quickly as possible.
  • Swimmers will go a little deeper and browse more.
  • Divers want to take it all in and spend time exploring.


Wireframes


Finally, once all of the planning and foundation was built, we were ready to play with wireframes for the core desktop experience because most applications were completed on desktop we wanted Required Docs to become the entry point to the application process.


Annotations


Final Design


The final design goal was to make it as clean and as simple as possible because of the sheer amount of information we would be providing to the users. The adage of less is more was the aesthetic principle we always kept in mind.

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