Sault College

Information architecture design

As part of Sault College’s project in restructuring their program offerings and revamping their digital systems, dig was engaged to provide a strategy on designing two new information environments: the Sault College website and an online student portal.

What we did

Challenge

The central goal for Sault College on this project was to gain a user-first development strategy for their shared information environments. Given the College’s existing structures, this essentially necessitated a complete reimagining of how their prospective students, current students, faculty members, and wider public access and use of content within Sault College’s existing information environment. As such, key deliverables for this project, as required by Sault College, was the development of distinct information architectures for each new information environment, each backed by relevant and researched strategy, and a full SEO strategy for the new College website.

A key takeaway from this project for dig was that, inevitably, when there are thousands of pages of content and information along with multiple stakeholders involved in a particular project, there needs to be controls and systems put in place in order to outline and enforce the addition of information. Sault College’s existing system, by the time dig was engaged for this project, was a disordered conglomeration of content additions which the initial architecture did not support.

Approach

The redesigned information architectures, which have since been successfully implemented by the College’s development teams, are entirely grounded in a user-first strategy. dig applied learnings from usability tests, analysis of website usage, strategy consultation sessions, and benchmarking research to produce information architecture designs that firmly put the user first, while still supporting business goals. 

Categories of users (i.e., prospective students, different levels of current students, faculty members, parents, etc.) guided the separation of content into the information environment intended for their use as well as the categorization of content on each. We looked at the content accessed by users, the patterns of how they accessed and used it, and the outcomes of these interactions to develop optimal user flows, which in turn guided the development of the organization schemes and structures that make up the information architecture.

Results

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