Paying the bill

WEB DEVELOPMENT AT SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY

 Enrolled students and their parents were struggling to find tuition and fee rates and pay their bill.  

The page depth was too extensive to locate rates. Each set of rates were hosted on an individual page, creating page overload.  Each semester had 5 different plans and 3 pricing breakdowns. The breakdowns gave more detail at each level. With multiple years and broken links, users weren't able to find information. Users were complaining of fee cost, encouraging stakeholders to be more transparent. The objective of this project was to improve the user experience for the Bursar's office which handles receiving money and publishing rates.

1 year = 3 semester ( 5 plans x 3 prices breakdowns ) = 45 pages

TARGET AUDIENCE

  • Perspective and enrolled students

  • Their parents

  • Employees

MY ROLE

  • Conduct research

  • Curate & edit content

  • Design main content 

  • Communicate with client

  • Develop with dotCMS

  • Coordinate other developers for areas of restricted access.

Discovering Rates

Making Payments

Process

Scope & Constraints

  • Web Accessibility Compliance

    • High Contrast Color Palette

    • Clean code, label roles

  • Header & footer were a part of a template

  • Unable to schedule usability testing or user interviews

  • One person UX team / Lack of specialized roles

  • Work within brand goals and brand style guide

  • Lack of formal web guidelines

Outcomes & Results

  • Reduced page inventory

  • Improved Site Improve scores

Page count increased for production and dramatically falls upon project completion.

SiteImprove is a third-party software that crawls the site to measure performance.

Before

After

Lessons Learned

Shorter Headlines & Smaller Hero Images.

The hero headlines are bit long and create an awkward layout on mobile. Large hero images make it difficult to hook users and can slow down the load speed.

Website can't be One-Size-Fits All.

Prospective students/parents, enrolled students/parents, and employees have very different needs. We must find ways to separate the user types to create more effective content, site flow, and style based on user needs. For example, prospective students and their parents are looking to know the total cost of attendance to compare colleges. While enrolled students may need to compare cost of different credit hours and/or pay their bill. Employees may be conducting research or looking for training.

Sticky just isn't sticking.

Sticky navigations are great for pages with a lot of content, because the navigation follows you down the page. However, the sticky feature doesn't interact on all browsers as intended. Until all browsers fully support this feature, sticky isn't the best choice.

Style guides must have tints and shades.

Highly saturated brand guides don't make great web style guides. ARIA web compliance requires high contrast web designs, which can't be accomplished when colors are the same value. By including tints and shades of brand colors, designers are able to layer information, create variety, and stay within compliance. 

Evaluated Current Site

Step 1

  • LinkedIn - Black Circle