The good folks at the Student Enrollment Center were in need of a total branding project, with the main focus being their online presence. They had great amount of content but lacked the visual component to bring it to life, and they needed it done in a week!

Project Details

The Challenges

Outside of the obvious time constraint, the project seemed to be straight-forward. After receiving content, I knew the foundation of the this project would be the readability of the information. Upon research, I noticed many websites lulled readers to sleep with lazy styling and massive amounts of cluttered information.

Potential Pitfalls

When presenting a lot of information you run the risk of numbing your readers. The fonts being used, the amount of padding, and the overall styling of the text become the backbone of the project.  Organizing the content while rapidly prototyping and gathering requirements on the fly caused some hiccups, but they were remedied with a few more meetings with the stakeholders.

Key Insights

When beginning a project with a new client, I like to build a personal relationship to gain the best perspective. With SEC, this approach gave me insight on how to best translate their vision and provide a product they loved. Having genuine conversations and really listening to the little details are crucial to providing the right vision for someone’s brand. Most of the time, people already have a vision, the fun part is helping them bring it to life.

The Solution

I wanted to present a modern and responsive website that engaged users, that was my primary focus. The vision was to pair good lifestyle imagery with strong typography layouts, in an easy to read and informative way. Predefining my styling and layout formats proved to be a good time saver and helped with providing some consistency displaying the content.

Gathering Requirements

North Carolinaments

There were no significant creative requirements.  The stakeholder’s gave me full creative control over the branding, with one simple requirement for the aesthetic. I must utilize University of North Carolina’s Blue as the main accent color.  I knew NC Blue landed a little flat, so I negotiated a slight punch up in saturation and hue to attract our target audience.

Competitive Analysis

There were not a multitude of websites in the same market, but the variation in quality left me excited.  Most of the competition didn’t call out useful information, use high quality imagery, or set a consistent tone when implementing typography standards.  Gaining knowledge through research allowed me to best focus my areas of importance for the project.

Design Time

The Look & Feel

Having full creative control made this project fun and fresh. Most times, designers like to present their best possible work with no limitations or quirky additions from the client.

Housing a wealth of knowledge is useless when the audience has to fight to gain knowledge. Choosing a font color [#444] that contrasted well with a white background and the addition of a mixture of blue and gray, lead to a smooth palette.

Standardizing the layouts and fonts used, lead to good transitions when viewing content across multiple pages. Attract with a nice header and lead with great fonts styling to engage the end user.

Setting Guidelines

Data heavy websites can sometimes have the tendency to rock users to sleep with monotonous styling. Establishing good padding and setting font variations for it’s multiple uses always proves to help sustain readability. I also added overlays to the imagery used because I didn’t want your eye to fight for focus on important items.

Testing & Interactions

Due to the timeline and type of website created, I relied on family and friends to test the sites clarity. Initially there were some issues with font sizing, but after some minor tweaks there were no eye sores to report. A simple and easy to navigate site was well on its way to production.

Launch Project

*original design may be altered due to client control