The Road to RedesignMEETING THE NEEDS OF NONTRADITIONAL STUDENTSVIA ONLINE NEW STUDENT ORIENTATIONMeghan Hatalla, Century ...
Design is a funny word. Some people thinkdesign means how it looks.But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s reallyhow it wor...
Audience       Motivation UX  =                 What   How   WhyGOAL         Your       Objective
What does this looklike?
Meanwhile, back in 2012   “Metro is great…   Once you get in.”
Whew.
Answerthe why: Know your audienceWhy do they need this?
You ≠ Target Audience
Who is our target audience?32                  65                          32Averageage   Averagecredits transferred in   ...
What else can we find out?• Shadowing • Students can navigate web sites • But not troubleshoot why a .docx won’t open• Sur...
To what extent did Online Orientation help youcontact your academic advisor or advising center?               18%         ...
I generally...100%90%                                                                                      88%            ...
On a scale of 1-4 (1=easy, 4=difficult), how easy was it       for you to complete orientation in D2L?               21%  ...
Answerthe how:  Find out what works.How are they going to do it?
Paper Prototype Equation                           Results!
Answer Me These Questions Three1.What is this site for?2.What do you like or dislike about this site?3.What do you do next?
The more users’ expectations proveright, the more they will feel in control ofthe system and the more they will like it.  ...
Answerthe what:   Content isWhat do they need?     KING      king
You will have to deal with new platforms thatyou haven’t yet heard of, and being agile withyour content is more important ...
What students                need to knowWhat students need to do
What does all   *this* look like?
Connect yourgoalswith   what/how/why     you build.
Thanks =]          Questions?       Meghan Hatalla, Century CollegeTwitter: @megtalla | Linkedin: /meghanhatalla
The Road to Redesign: Meeting the Needs of Nontraditional Students via Online New Student Orientation
The Road to Redesign: Meeting the Needs of Nontraditional Students via Online New Student Orientation
The Road to Redesign: Meeting the Needs of Nontraditional Students via Online New Student Orientation
The Road to Redesign: Meeting the Needs of Nontraditional Students via Online New Student Orientation
The Road to Redesign: Meeting the Needs of Nontraditional Students via Online New Student Orientation
The Road to Redesign: Meeting the Needs of Nontraditional Students via Online New Student Orientation
The Road to Redesign: Meeting the Needs of Nontraditional Students via Online New Student Orientation
The Road to Redesign: Meeting the Needs of Nontraditional Students via Online New Student Orientation
The Road to Redesign: Meeting the Needs of Nontraditional Students via Online New Student Orientation
The Road to Redesign: Meeting the Needs of Nontraditional Students via Online New Student Orientation
The Road to Redesign: Meeting the Needs of Nontraditional Students via Online New Student Orientation
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The Road to Redesign: Meeting the Needs of Nontraditional Students via Online New Student Orientation

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  • http://web.convergeconsulting.org/blog/bid/272465/?goback=%2Egmp_3779896%2Egde_3779896_member_218508391
  • So now that we had an idea of what we need to fix, we moved into content and design phase. I’m not a huge Steve Jobs fan, but I really like this quote especially in this context. We have a user base that will use our product, but we need to make it work for them, and provide them with the right information. Since we’re a university with limited funding, we decided to do some paper prototyping. I gathered together some screenshots of different online orientations, and in exchange for a Metro-branded water bottle, we asked students a series of questions. I created a script based off of the one provided by Steve Krug in his book Rocket Surgery Made Easy—everyone here knows Krug, right?—and in short, we asked them to look at each screenshot, and tell us 3 things:
  • User experience is kind of an umbrella term, but at it’s heart, user experience is how you engage with your audience. It’s about building a strategy that reconciles your audience’s motivations with your objectives, and answering the what, how, and why of their motivations, and your objectives. Building a great user experience means aligning objectives with motivations. Theoretically it includes all the users' emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviors and accomplishments that occur before, during and after use.
  • Address HoursMore info? Click here.
  • Eye is drawn to the center content – what’s newSecond are the discussions to check in what’s being said. Site understands that communication is key, whether you’re separated by a few miles or a few thousand milesAbove the information specific to the project is the information specific to all your projects
  • So now you are basically a UX expert—you’re welcome. Now I’m going to introduce you to the situation at Metro State when we decided to redesign New Student Orientation. So let’s travel back to 2012. Metropolitan State had a great marketing problem in that our students were telling people to come to Metro because Metro is great, but there’s a caveat: once you get in. So what does that mean?
  • My former boss, Drew Melendres, AVP of Enrollment Management, compared the problem to a leaky bucket. As more students are admitted, the water level rises, and more and more leaks start springing out. Students weren’t getting the information they needed in a format that was usable or timely, so they just didn’t register and went somewhere else.
  • So. There’s a lot going on here.We have this scroll bar list of things that students need to do, which is also part of a larger list of things they need to do. But to start doing them, they need to click up here, which takes them off of this page. And when they click on these, it takes them to a different tab set with a whole list of other pages under each tab. Oh, and after you go through all of these, we’re gonna need you to go BACK into content you’ve already read to do some more stuff. And then we want you take a quiz, but you’re going to have to log out of this and go somewhere completely to do that. It’s a learning management system called Desire 2 Learn, or D2L, and our findings later found some issues with that, but hold on. Because now you should be ready to register for classes, and, yeah, that’s an entirely different system, too. Unless you don’t have your credit evaluation, then you might want to wait. Mmmkay? Is that cool? Oh, and if you’re using anything other than Internet Explorer, you’re probably going to want to switch.
  • So where do we start with this?
  • Start with *why*SimonSinekTED talk: http://www.startwithwhy.com/
  • Pro tip. You are not your target audience. In our project, we had a lot of people who would say “OH, let’s just put ourselves into the students shoes and go through this like they would.” But you can’t, and you can’t because of physical limitations, and I mean more than just metaphysical limitations. In your role—whatever you do—your brain is already wired to pick up on context clues and you can’t just shut that off. So when people who are not the target audience attempt to BE the target audience, the data is horribly skewed because they either take it too far in direction or the other. So trust me when I say: define your audience in other ways. And qualify it.
  • Students at Metropolitan State range in age from 16 to 75, with an average of 32 years. However, this also means that technical skills are all over the map. Over 90% of the student body have previously attended college elsewhere. With transfer students come transfer credits and the average number that needs to be processed is 65 credits per student.The average at the next highest transfer institution is about half that, with maybe a quarter of their populations transferring in, so that adds up to a lot of credits that need to be processed before a student registers for classes. On top of all of this, Metro students are working full time or almost full time. They don’t want to be on campus any more than they need to, and they don’t want busy work.
  • So who is this for? We did some different fact finding, starting with shadowing our librarians. That might sound weird—But what we found was that, for the most part, our students were pretty savvy when it came to surfing the web, but less savvy when it came to multiple step operations, like downloading or uploading files, logging in and out of systems, etc. The other helpful thing we did was send a survey to students who registered for online orientation—we got a 11% response rate, not too bad for a pretty lengthy survey—and some really clear direction to take.
  • 43% respondents said that orientation did not help them know how to contact their advisor or the advising center. What this says to us is that they don’t know where to go if they have questions about their academic career, hence the massive calls coming in from everywhere.
  • From the screenshot, you can probably guess that there was A LOT of information in the orientation site. And it’s not to say that the information is bad, or irrelevant—it’s just not what they’re looking for, and that site was DEEP. Like, students were going down rabbit holes of information without being entirely sure what or where they were going.
  • OMG right? Yes 39% didn’t report a problem with having to log into a different system to fully complete New Student Orientation. But 40% reported some level of difficulty, and then another 21% DIDN’T EVEN DO IT. They decided to register for on campus orientation, or just decided not to register at all. Jared Spool wrote a great blog post on the cost of frustration, and the costs of a difficult process. This 21% magnified adds up to a lot of students quitting, and a lot of lost tuition dollars. http://www.uie.com/articles/cost_of_frustration/
  • Start with *why*SimonSinekTED talk: http://www.startwithwhy.com/
  • First site. One of our fellow MnSCU partners. They did not like these instructions in the Welcome—they thought it was a little elementary, like the directive to use a modern web browser—and they weren’t going to read them. They also did not like the Getting Started section, which kind of confused them by replicating buttons that appear elsewhere. They DID like the next button—it was clear as crystal what the next step was.
  • What people liked and disliked about this site were, oddly enough, tied together. They liked how clear the steps were laid out, but not the amount of text with each step. The consensus was that it was clear the order they needed to go in, but they weren’t about to read every step, too.
  • When I was originally researching the different sites, I assumed that this site was going to take the cake for being the most popular since it was the most dynamic looking—but I was wrong. While students really liked the photography, there didn’t think there was enough content to tell them where to go—and even after looking at the page, it was hard to tell what to click on next to actually start the orientation.
  • This site was by far the most popular site presented. They loved how breezy the text was, and that there was a navigation on the left side. One student said that he liked it in case his laptop battery died, or he was interrupted, he could easily get back to where he left off. A lot of students echoed that sentiment in different ways. And again, the clear beginning with the orange button.
  • Importance of user empathy. Tie it back to the idea being about functionality. Empathic design = user centered design. We want them to focus on the information we’re giving them, and not on the site. Structure is critical because it unifies content.
  • Here’s a little secret: content strategy and UX often mean the same thing.
  • It’s unfortunate that in higher ed, we tend to plan based on looking backwards instead of forwards, and it can take a really long time to get the resources to do something that feels even slightly relevant, and it’s already out of date. Or maybe you have the opposite problem, and have administrators who have shiny object syndrome, where they hop on board with the latest thing, don’t put in the proper planning to launch it, and then they’re onto something else.IphoneThe best thing you can do in terms of continuity and efficiency is to focus on your content. And content includes more than just words—it’s pictures, videos, anything that conveys meaning. Building great content is conducive to building trust with your audience, and sometimes trust can be more important than building process.
  • The reason I say that is because, in this case, building trust trumps process because it helps all sides—students and staff--see the bigger picture, and develop balanced content that tells students what they need to do as well as what they need to do. Tuition paymentFor us, as we worked through content, we also discovered some processes that needed to be refined, like the format of our online catalogue, and it instituted a huge change that benefits people outside of just New Student Orientation. Creating student journey guides is handy
  • Higher ed seems to have made a secret pact to organize all our content the same way: audience segments and internal structure**Move to live browser**Datatada!!!!!! Ok, so, how we applied all of that research into this site. First of all, the orientation site is entirely open—if you want to check it out, go to orientation.metrostate.edu—so there’s no logging in, there’s no access revoked after a period of time, students and staff can come back into orientation at any time to refer to anything. We kept the content relevant and conversational, and tried not to bog down pages too much. To accomplish this but still appease our subject matter experts, we added these “Find Out More” sections, and when we wanted to refer to something in multiple places, we created an interactive PDF that housed that information so we weren’t crosslinking. Sue designed a navigation that kind of doubles as a progress bar which helps keep students on track and also an idea of how much is left to go. We peppered in some pictures to prove that, yes, we ARE a real campus, as well as some quotes and bits of information to keep them engaged. And...the most important piece of feedback: clear next steps at the bottom of each page. And the responsive elements.
  • You really just need to understand what the issues are and how they affect or inform the experience you want to build. As an educational institution, our goal is not to force students to sift through online orientation because they feel they have to, the goal is to try to engage them to believe what we believe as an institution and understand our mission. This is what drives behavior, and what drives retention. And for us, orientation is an important spot for us to say ‘Welcome to Metropolitan State. We believe that everyone deserves equal access to higher education, and our mission is to serve the underserved by providing an amazing, personalized, educational experience. Are you ready to start your new student orientation journey?”
  • user experience includes all the users' emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviors and accomplishments that occur before, during and after use.
  • User experience is kind of an umbrella term, but at it’s heart, user experience is how you engage with your audience. It’s about building a strategy that reconciles your audience’s motivations with your objectives, and answering the what, how, and why of their motivations, and your objectives. Building a great user experience means aligning objectives with motivations. Theoretically it includes all the users' emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviors and accomplishments that occur before, during and after use.
  • Enter your search. Can be one word, a few words, follow jeopardy rules and put in the form of a question, doesn’t matter. Google doesn’t care.Click Search, or you might not even have to—when you start typing, Google immediately starts searchingHas anyone used I’m feeling lucky? It used to take you immediately to the first search return, but now it changes text to something like ‘I’m feeling wonderful’ or ‘I’m feeling artistic’ and if you click on whatever it says, it’ll take you to like, the Louvre virtual tour if you’re feeling artistic, or once it took me to NASA when I clicked ‘I’m feeling stelllar’
  • Search returnsShows you a place if you searched for a location, or might show you where to buy something if you searched for shoes, or somethingYou can modify the search parameters to show only images, news stories, etc. Highly customized experience that takes into account your past browsing habits, sites you’ve visited in the past, your location, and a lot of other stuff that Google knows. So now you are basically a UX expert—you’re welcome. Now I’m going to introduce you to the situation at Metro State when we decided to redesign New Student Orientation. So let’s travel back to 2010. Metropolitan State had a great marketing problem in that our students were telling people to come to Metro because
  • Student Affairs put together something called the Entering Student Pathway Group. The entering student pathway is defined as basically the journey from prospect, or the first time someone hears about Metro State, to applying, to admission, and finally registered for classes. What we found out is that it took almost 2 months for an admitted transfer student’s credit evaluation to be completed. Over 90% of Metro’s student body are transfer students. The main carrot for getting students through orientation is that they’ll get to register for classes at the end, but if they don’t know what credits will be accepted, they don’t want to register and possibly pay twice for the same class.
  • The online orientation redesign group was just one group to emerge from this discovery. When the process began to redo the site in 2012, the redesign group was fairly small, and we were very lucky to have a leader who shielded us from a lot of the external politics so that we could put our heads together and get through the work. The people involved with the construction of the site were chosen for strategic reasons. Obviously, IT was involved for their technical assistance, and the Center for Online Learning for the same reason. The advisors were asked not only for their knowledge of what new students need to know.Now, the original site was designed in 2007, which was 5 years ago, and a lot has changed in not only technology, but how we browse the web as well. So, I’m not saying that the old site is horrible or terrible in any way, it just wasn’t aging very gracefully. Here’s what we were dealing with
  • When the old orientation site was created in 2007, there were a lot of perceived constrictions especially around what students should and could be expected to accomplish. 1.1 billion peopleFirst of all, the use of broadband increased, so people can search the web faster, and download pages in a more timely way. So if we did opt to include more interactive content, we’re no longer hampered by accessibility issues. Secondly, all those references to Internet Explorer -70% of users were using IE. Nowadays, that number has been cut in half, and we couldn’t just tell people to switch their browser to access our site—we need to make it accessible across platforms. Which leads me to the 3rd and possibly the most important influence in design: the way that mobile devices have EXPLODED. Numbers might even be a little conservative. But there’s a pretty good chance that people are going to be doing orientation on a mobile device.
  • We’re lucky that in higher ed, we already have this figured out.Well, the rest of us do, Marketing usually hasn’t. I’m just kidding, I love marketing…Biology—talks about the human brain, correlates with this visual, and he ties it to the law of diffusion innovation, and it’s pretty good. Check it out. But most of us already start with why, and we need to carry that into the web because this, to me, is really how you get to the heart of user experience. The goal is not to do business with everyone who needs what, the goal is to do business with people who believe what we believe. This is what drives behavior.
  • So in case some of you out there are also unaware that Metro State is, in fact, a real college, we’re going to go over some basic facts about Metropolitan State University.
  • Part of Sara’s confusion might have stemmed from Metro’s background. It was founded in 1971 and was known as the university without walls because it didn’t have a campus in the traditional sense, classes were held around the twin cities in businesses or they co-located with community colleges.It was also an upper division university, so students had to be at least juniors or seniors to attend, and many of them also working full time. Students designed their own degrees and gained credit for work or life experience. And as an urban university, Metro has always had a strong sense of community, which is reflected in their mission to ‘serve the underserved’
  • So, while a lot of those things are still the same—like the ability to design a degree program, gaining credit from life experience, some other stuff changed. There are now four established campuses, here in St. Paul but also Mpls, Brooklyn Park, and Midway.Metro became a part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system in 1995, which helped build stronger connections with community colleges.
  • Maybe you know this or maybe you don’t, but the number of students graduating high school is on the decline, which means that the main way to encourage new enrollment at universities is to go after adult learners, or nontraditional students. This is nothing new for Metropolitan State, because we’ve been doing this for a long time. In fact, one of ways that people hear about Metro State is via positive word of mouth. Jim got his bachelors from Metro State, thought it was great, and tells Sue, who enrolls, likes it, and passes it on. But we learned is that there’s a caveat with this word of mouth promotion:
  • Maybe you know this or maybe you don’t, but the number of students graduating high school is on the decline, which means that the main way to encourage new enrollment at universities is to go after adult learners, or nontraditional students. This is nothing new for Metropolitan State, because we’ve been doing this for a long time. In fact, one of ways that people hear about Metro State is via positive word of mouth. Jim got his bachelors from Metro State, thought it was great, and tells Sue, who enrolls, likes it, and passes it on. But we learned is that there’s a caveat with this word of mouth promotion:
  • But it was one thing to say Hey, we need redo this whole thing, and another thing to organize the entire process and get people to understand why we needed to do this. When we began conversations around redesign, this comment popped up in a few circles:The old site was the first thing that we needed to really dissect and analyze and burn.
  • Ok, not literally obviously. I like this quote because in it’s mixed metaphor kind of way shows the value of using something that came before in creating something new. We did dissect it pretty thoroughly to see where the problems were hiding.
  • Right? So we decided that we needed to begin at the beginning, to quote the Mad Hatter. Which really means that we had to redefine who the users were.
  • Another common preconception from the other divisions was that there wasn’t any kind of problem with orientation. This speaks to the lack of communication and information sharing between divisions. Cold calling - the issue was that they didn’t know where to call. Through the entering student pathway, we found out that it was a common issue in other divisions as well.We needed to find out how and where our students are coming to conclusions, and what their level of proficiency was.
  • So we had some great ideas of where to go with content and design, but we still wanted to bring the site up a notch, and also prepare it for future iterations especially with the way the web has moved in the past five years, we’re doing more harm by not modifying things.
  • Ok, so we convinced them that the site was outdated, wasn’t reflecting or serving students’ needs and needed to be redesigned.The final hurdle came down to the nitty gritty content. We had worked out the content strategy along with the design, and there was no way that we could take the old content and pound it into the new framework. Like a square peg in a round hole, right?
  • The main effect of all of this was that our content was consistent and balanced, but there were some second level causations as well, like this idea. The overarching lesson from the experience was that we needed to be careful in how we approached things. When multiple divisions are invested in a project—and you have a few individuals speaking for those divisions—it’s important not to get mired down in the politics, especially when the customer or the student isn’t being served. You really just need to understand what the issues are and how they affect the project, which in turn helps build trust. For this project, building trust lead to building sustainable processes between divisions. To go back to the earlier example of the student who cold called a whole department, we found that by generating content that reflected this kind of trust and cohesion, we reduced redundancy and enhanced clarity, so instead of feeling like they have no information, they have an entire arsenal of organized information to draw upon.
  • The Road to Redesign: Meeting the Needs of Nontraditional Students via Online New Student Orientation

    1. 1. The Road to RedesignMEETING THE NEEDS OF NONTRADITIONAL STUDENTSVIA ONLINE NEW STUDENT ORIENTATIONMeghan Hatalla, Century College
    2. 2. Design is a funny word. Some people thinkdesign means how it looks.But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s reallyhow it works. - Steve Jobs
    3. 3. Audience Motivation UX = What How WhyGOAL Your Objective
    4. 4. What does this looklike?
    5. 5. Meanwhile, back in 2012 “Metro is great… Once you get in.”
    6. 6. Whew.
    7. 7. Answerthe why: Know your audienceWhy do they need this?
    8. 8. You ≠ Target Audience
    9. 9. Who is our target audience?32 65 32Averageage Averagecredits transferred in Average hours worked per week
    10. 10. What else can we find out?• Shadowing • Students can navigate web sites • But not troubleshoot why a .docx won’t open• Survey • 11% response rate • Loud & clear…
    11. 11. To what extent did Online Orientation help youcontact your academic advisor or advising center? 18% 43% Not helpful Helpful Very helpful 39%
    12. 12. I generally...100%90% 88% 82%80% 73%70%60%50% Not true40% Neutral30% Very true20% 15% 12% 15%10% 3% 6% 6% 0% Skim over details & dig deeper Return and read things when I Like to know the big picture into important details need them
    13. 13. On a scale of 1-4 (1=easy, 4=difficult), how easy was it for you to complete orientation in D2L? 21% 33% 1 = Easy 2 = Ok 3 = A little difficult 13% 4 = Very difficult Didnt complete orientation 6% 27%
    14. 14. Answerthe how: Find out what works.How are they going to do it?
    15. 15. Paper Prototype Equation Results!
    16. 16. Answer Me These Questions Three1.What is this site for?2.What do you like or dislike about this site?3.What do you do next?
    17. 17. The more users’ expectations proveright, the more they will feel in control ofthe system and the more they will like it. - Jakob Nielson
    18. 18. Answerthe what: Content isWhat do they need? KING king
    19. 19. You will have to deal with new platforms thatyou haven’t yet heard of, and being agile withyour content is more important than picking aplatform or two and building for them. - Karen McGrane
    20. 20. What students need to knowWhat students need to do
    21. 21. What does all *this* look like?
    22. 22. Connect yourgoalswith what/how/why you build.
    23. 23. Thanks =] Questions? Meghan Hatalla, Century CollegeTwitter: @megtalla | Linkedin: /meghanhatalla

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