I have come across this scenario and I am interested to learn from the UX professionals here about the proper technique and process:

You are hired by a University to investigate issues with their website, and propose a new design that will improve the overall user experience. This University has a student body of around 15,000 students (at under and post-graduate levels) spread across 15 faculties. It also employs 1,500 academic members of staff. Most students/staff complain that the site is not usable and finding information is not easy.

Ignoring any budgetary constraints, what plan of action would you adopt to tackle this request?....

what would be your:

  1. the process you would follow as well as
  2. the techniques you would adopt.

Thank you

1 Answer 1


I recommend reading About Face 3 by Alan Cooper. This book takes you through the whole process, from requirements gathering and persona research, to behaviours and scenarios and interactions.

From a process point of view, it really does depend on the organisation and product. At a high level:


  • Who are you designing for?
  • What do they want and need?
  • Analyse your user to see if there are any common behavioural clusters, and if so then these can now become your personas (never make personas up - base them on your research)


  • Ideate: Create one or more design options which meet the persona needs (the first idea out of your head is rarely the best idea).
  • Experiment a little and validate ideas with some users (sometimes guerrilla techniques can be useful in this ideation phase)
  • Eventually you will gravitate to one idea going forwards


  • Early in the design process you can make prototypes (paper or clickable prototypes)
  • Later in the process this is where the developers turn your design into working code.


  • Validate what you are building with some users to ensure you are on the right track.


  • Depending on your development process, e.g. waterfall or iterative, constantly validating your progress through design and build with users will ensure you never drift off track.

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