Cambridge Partnership for Education

Showcasing thought leadership in education transformation

Role

UX/UI Designer

Timeline

March - June 2021

Link

www.cambridge.org/partnership

Overview

Cambridge Partnership for Education (CPE) works with policymakers to improve the quality of education systems in over fifty countries worldwide. When their parent organisation was undergoing a major rebrand, CPE saw an opportunity to review their online presence from the ground up and commissioned my team at Make it Clear to redesign their website.

Challenge

The existing website provided a top level overview of CPE service offering, but failed to convey the depth of their expertise and global reach. It primarily targeted education ministers, who are often time poor and prefer easy-to-scan layout with concise summaries, sound bites and eye-catching data visualisations.

As a result, it fell short in supporting other user groups, such as civil servants and government agencies, who are looking for more in-depth research, thematic case studies and testimonials that validate CPE’s experience and expertise.

My role

I was the lead designer shaping the structure, functionality and appearance of the new site. I conducted user interviews, updated information architecture, created wireflows and designed a unique set of components to be added to the global Cambridge University Press and Assessments library.

Process
Stakeholder interviews

I conducted a series of twelve interviews with representatives of the key user groups, such as top-level leaders (e.g. education ministers), civil servants, government agencies, stakeholders, international development organisations, and local education authorities. Insights from these interviews enabled our team to identify five user personas and write 25 users stories.

Information architecture

I mapped the existing site structure and reviewed it against user stories. I aimed to flatten the site architecture to ensure that all content and functionality supporting the key tasks is accessible through the homepage or main navigation.

The final information architecture chart for the new CPE website.

To validate the solution, the research team ran a card sort test with the key stakeholders. This confirmed that the content grouping was intuitive to navigate, but resulted in some changes in category labels, for instance, renaming “research” to “insights”.

Wireflows

I worked with the client to review and identify six priority user stories that informed the structure and content on the future site. To visualise these, I created low-fidelity wireframes and wifeflows that illustrated how each task can be performed from the homepage.

Wireflow for one of the priority user stories: "As a Civil Servant, I want to read case studies which thematically show challenges that Cambridge have previously faced and highlight not only how this has been achieved, but what has been the impact of their work."

Wireflow for one of the priority user stories: "As a Government agency, I want to see thought leadership on current topics and read recent research reports conducted by Cambridge Academic. It would also be useful to access other resource links such as for the world bank."

Wireflow for one of the priority user stories: "As a Stakeholder, I want to visually see the global reach that Cambridge has. This will allow me to be sure Cambridge is suitable for a region like mine and help me to validate that they understand the cultural and economic context of my region's needs."

I then conducted six rounds of usability testing, asking participants to review the proposed wireframes against the priority tasks of their respective user groups.

Functionality specifications

Once the structure of the site has been finalised, I worked with the research team to create a functionality specification sheet for 12 templates we were commissioned to create.

Component library

Using the existing library as a starting point, I identified the need for eight additional components to support the unique needs of CPE users. This ranged from media banners and profile cards to more complex components, such as an interactive case study map and a tool for finding and contacting local representatives.

UI design

The modular approach to Cambridge University Press and Assessment sites meant there was no need to create design mockups for each template. However, to show the new components in play and help the client visualise the unique identity of their interface, I created an interactive prototype of CPE homepage.

Conclusion

The new website showcases the depth of experience and expertise of the CPE team and addresses the needs of all key user groups. In the words of CPE Senior Digital Marketing Manager Aisling Miller:

“It was extremely important for our new website to be based on user research; our audience is niche and their needs are specific. Working with Make It Clear meant that our audience was at the heart of the project at all times – from identifying their goals and challenges, to solving them through user stories and journey mapping. The wireframes and UI designs were crucial in making sure the handover between design and development was as seamless as possible.”