Website Design | Visual Designer | Information Design
Designing, developing and communicating a holistic and equitable college career advising strategy.
Website Designer | Visual Designer | Information Design
January 31, 2022 — April 25, 2022
How could we redesign the current higher education and workforce advising system to be more inclusive?
I worked with the Artefact team during the collaboration with Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to create a more inclusive and equitable college career advising strategy for Texans. The current advising system was found to be episodic, fragmented, inconsistent, and impersonal, thus not meeting its full potential.
Identifying current gaps
The current college and career advising system in Texas does not adequately support learners and their supporters, especially the underserved, in transitioning successfully to and from higher education to the workforce. Our challenge was to redesign the current advising system supported by extensive research efforts that effectively communicates a more holistic, equitable, and trusted advising experience for all learners and their supporters.
Visualizing patterns in behavior, mindset and the type of preferred support type among learners
Our team conducted target user interviews and research analysis to understand the current advising experience and opportunities to improve the system. Through this research, we identified patterns in behavior, mindset, and preferred support type among learners that could be aggregated into specific groups. We developed detailed persona archetypes of target audiences and a deep understanding of the current advising experience and opportunities to improve the system.
Our findings were communicated to stakeholders through an experience framework confronting the current advising state issues characterized by the “4C’s”- continuous, coordinated, consistent, and compassionate. We also created a north star goal defining the purpose for the efforts behind the advising process and a Transition journey framework to help understand and explain the experiences of “Learners” regardless of where they started, ended, or currently are in their journeys. Additionally, we created a set of persona archetypes to better define who the system is for and how to best support these groups. Finally, we developed a comprehensive Theory of Change built upon a strategy canvas.
All of these efforts were then translated into an information architecture and then designed as a website.
Results & Takeaways
Stakeholder visibility and collaboration
The stakeholder involvement was key in getting them on-board with bold directions. All of this work was used to support the development of a holistic and equitable college and career advising strategy to best support Texans as they move through the three identified transition points. The challenge with a complicated network of stakeholders within a bureaucratic system is understanding how to employ the obtained insights to communicate the advantage for this systemic change. It can be difficult sometimes maintaining the role of a design consultant and holding firm to your informed decisions and recommendations if there is any pushback.
In conclusion, our research and design process helped create a more inclusive, equitable, and trusted college and career advising system for Texans. By understanding the needs and preferences of the target audience, we were able to develop a more personalized and effective advising experience. Through stakeholder involvement and effective communication, we were able to successfully implement a holistic advising strategy that maximizes the number of Texans transitioning successfully to and from higher education to the workforce.