Session Details

The content is the Experience: Lessons in Creating a Student-Centered Student Affairs Website

TIE9 Technology in Education

Location: Skyline I

TUESDAY, 10:45 - 11:30 a.m.

Students are busy. They are focused on the exam they have to write tomorrow or the paper due at the end of the month. So how do you create a stellar online experience that makes it easy for students to find and use the information they need, delight them while on your site and make them want to come back? The centralized student service offices at UBC (The University of British Columbia) decided to tackle this challenge by using key elements of the student experience, rather than organizational structure, in the redesign of their website, This session will discuss the overhaul of, a project initiated by the need to replace the CMS being used to manage the site but really about creating a user-centered student affairs website designed around the needs and preferences of current students, not the business owners. The redesign and redevelopment of involved the migration of approximately 12,000 pages of content from 12 distinct microsites into one meaningful, connected and comprehensive site. The content was split into flexible components that can be published in any location on any of the roughly 700 new dynamic site pages. Learn how the redesign project was designed to ensure the new and improved site delivered on the site goals to make it easy for students to find the information they’re looking for when visiting the site, anticipate the information needs of students as they progress through their studies and experience at UBC, delight students with content and functionality that surpasses what they came to the site for and deliver an intuitive and seamless experience designed around the student experience that helps students act on the information and the invitation to participate. The presenters will provide a tour of the redesigned site, including before and after, highlighting the site structure, visual design and structured content strategy.

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Janeen Alliston
Director, Student Communications Services, University of British Columbia

Janeen Alliston is the director of Student Communications Services at the University of British Columbia. She is responsible for providing vision and leadership for a team of communications, user-experience and design professionals tasked with delivering strategic and tactical communications support for the university’s vice-president, students portfolio. Since joining UBC in June 2011, Alliston has been focused on leading the development of a cross-unit, multi-channel, integrated strategic communications plan aimed at delivering meaningful, coordinated and innovative communications to encourage student engagement and positively impact the student experience. Prior to joining UBC, Alliston was the manager, student recruitment and client services within the Marketing and Communications Department at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. She holds a bachelor of arts, general studies and a master of arts in adult education from the University of British Columbia.

Brett Lee
UX / Web Designer, University of British Columbia

Brett Lee is a user experience / web designer with Student Communications Services at the University of British Columbia. Lee was instrumental in conceptualizing the redesign of, the website for all current UBC students with information on all of the services, programs, opportunities and resources provided by the "central" student services. Lee holds a bachelor of engineering in computer science from the University of Victoria and is currently completing his master's in library, archival and information studies at the University of British Columbia.