Illinois College of Law Website

 

Finding a new voice for an established program.

 

ROLE

user testing and research, brand strategy, UX/content strategy, art direction, project management

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OVERVIEW

The College of Law at the University of Illinois is home to excellent academics, highly cited faculty, and impressive career services—but its outdated website lacked a strong identity. The website redesign was an opportunity to hone the brand voice for all marketing efforts. 

 
 
 

RESEARCH + CONTENT PLANNING

The primary goal for the new site was to attract prospective students. I interviewed students, faculty, and alumni, which revealed that Illinois was not the first choice law school among students, but once they visited, the collegial community couldn't compare to other schools on their list. 

Interviews with stakeholders, key message exercises, and brand persona activities helped our team further identify what defines the College of Law. A content inventory and review of site analytics and peer schools provided insight into user needs and competitors.

Based on this research, I streamlined the site architecture and guided the client in gathering and revising content for hundreds of pages on the site.

 
 
 
 
 
 

CONTENT STRATEGY/UX

To attract prospective students, the site content strategy reflected the collegial culture, inviting users into a conversation. The homepage asks the user a series of questions, each calling attention to how Illinois can help future students reach their goals.

 
 
 
 

With the homepage and interior pages, I wanted users to discover the school, as they do on a college visit. The site structure and UX design encourages exploration, with easy-to-click, audience-specific content. 

 
 
 
 

User testing with key audience groups proved the design met our goal.

As one prospective student said: "It feels like you're talking to me, not bragging about yourself."

 
 
 
 

BRAND GUIDELINES

I guided copy, photography, and design choices throughout the project to create a visual identity that is authentic, approachable, and professional. The project included a brand messaging and design guidebook to help the client maintain the tone, voice, and look in all communications.

 

photography by L. Brian Stauffer, University of Illinois