Services: Content Strategy, UX Design, UX Writing, Editing, Persona Development, Customer Journey Mapping, Site Architecture, Videography
The International Center at the University of Texas at Dallas needed a new site that promoted its primary services, including supporting the university’s 9,000-plus international students and highlighting programs for students to work and study abroad.
The site also had many forms and detailed to-do lists related to immigration, visas, health insurance while traveling abroad, and other complex topics and requirements.
Highlighting Global Engagement
The goals of the redesign were to improve the user experience and to highlight the center’s mission statement: The International Center brings the world to UT Dallas and UT Dallas to the world.
One of the most significant challenges came in developing the new information architecture of the site. The International Center and its staff include three entities:
- International Center (IC)
- International Education (IE)
- International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO).
Because each division has specific members who would be uploading and maintaining content just for their sections, we determined that it would be better to build the site as three separate sites, each with its own sitemap, menus, and footers. Still, they would need to look unified.
Goals of the redesign:
- To increase engagement with prospective students
- To provide easy-to-find information about upcoming events and ways to get involved and support the International Center
- To help international students easily and quickly find answers to their questions and ways to connect with advisors
- To showcase the university’s global engagement opportunities, including study abroad programs
- Prospective international students
- Parents of prospective international students
- Current students – both domestic and international
- Parents of current students looking for information on studying abroad
- Faculty and staff
- Employers and corporate sponsors who need details on hiring international students
A Few Highlights from the Redesign
The Home Page Header
The International Center homepage header features students doing the Whoosh sign. In case you didn’t know, UT Dallas’ mascot is a Comet, and Whoosh is the sound of a Comet traveling through space. Like most of the photos on the site, this one was taken by a UT Dallas student participating in the study abroad photo contest. Whoosh!
Video Header on Education Abroad Page
I loved taking an international management class in Japan as part of my M.S. in Marketing degree at UT Dallas. For the Education Abroad page, I was able to repurpose a video I shot for a class assignment to give the page a lively, dynamic feel. The 360-video showcases my UTD classmates sampling takoyaki — or octopus balls — in Osaka, snapping pics by Kyoto’s Kinkaku-Ji — the Golden Pavilion — and meeting the deer of Nara Park.
News and Events
The events listing in the International Center’s landing page is built through a Localist widget. News stories are curated WordPress posts.
Flexible Promo Block
Built using the block editor in WordPress, this reusable block promotes links to common tasks or new initiatives.
Prominent Search Bar
On the ISSO homepage, users can quickly find answers to common questions and connect to immigration advising. Site analytics determined popular topics with quick links.
The site launched on April 21, 2021, and received rave reviews. Here are just a couple of initial comments:
“We are already getting feedback from our advisors that they love the new site and find it very easy to use. This is going to make a big difference for our students and stakeholders,” International Center Staffer
“It looks great — very sharp.” Faculty Member