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Reimagining an overburdened website as a strategic engagement tool

The University of Pittsburgh knew that their internal web portal was too complex.

It gave students, faculty, and staff one place to access many resources, but serving the countless needs of the campus created unmanageable clutter. MAYA went straight to these users to understand how they interacted with the portal and what they needed most.

Client:

Products & Services

User Research
UX Design
Storytelling
Experience Design

Connecting users to the right information

By focusing on user needs and expectations, we could address both a design challenge and develop a vision for the portal that reflects Pitt’s stature as a world-class university. The portal delivers content to nearly 50,000 people. It is the primary way in which the University communicates with its diverse stakeholders, and could be an integral and seamless part of the Pitt experience. This critical insight transformed the portal from an impersonal library of services and resources into a strategic tool for developing life-long engagement with the University. We helped Pitt design an interface flexible enough to adapt to different types of users—faculty, parents, students—and one that evolves as they do, from freshmen, to upperclassmen, to alumni.

Making it happen

Innovative ideas are hard to execute anywhere, but complex organizations multiply the challenges. To build excitement within the organization, MAYA developed an AIGA award-winning video articulating the portal’s vision and the principles guiding the design. The video proved invaluable in generating momentum and support for a transformational project.

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