Claremont McKenna College is the youngest of America’s elite liberal arts colleges. At only 65 years old it has a unique story to tell. CMC wanted their new website to communicate intellectual rigor without being aloof, and youthfulness without connoting inexperience.

One challenge was to present the information architecture in a way that didn’t conflict with the mood established in the design. To accomplish this, we created a two-tier navigation scheme: a primary navigation that lumped information into coherent groups, and a secondary navigation (at the top in red) that allowed users to self-segment into key pre-defined audiences. The result is a generous design that prioritizes admissions tasks, but also offers distinct audiences a customized experience if they want it.

Users had trouble finding desired content through the thick jungle of options on the old CMC site—a problem that leads to task abandonment and under-utilized resources. We needed to speed up site navigation while preserving the depth of resources available. Our solution was to implement a two-click pathway into every major content hub. A user clicks once on the main navigation to reveal a slide-down directory of all the content hubs in that category, and a second click gets them straight to the desired content area. This solution exposes all the content on the site in a glance, shaves 5+ seconds off major navigation tasks, and eliminates a lot of "Where is your..."-type emails.

The result was a beautiful mobile experience that captures everything important about the site: clear branding, transparent IA, easy navigation, and highly-readable content.

Client

Claremont McKenna College

Acknowledgements

Firm: Domain7
Managing Director: Phil Gallo
Team Lead: Tyler Frans
Content Strategist: Kevan Gilbert
Creative Director: Ryan James
UX Designer: Miriam Thomas 
UX Designer: Kurt Iverson

 

Tags

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
WEBSITE
FRONT END DESIGN