WebAssign is an online instructional system designed to enrich the teaching and learning experience. It provides content for instructors to enhance their courses and offers instant assessment as students complete homework assignments.
When WebAssign was founded in the late '90s, the website, which was mainly used for students and instructors to log into the system, was built directly into the application itself. Although this connection made logging in easy, it required a product release to make any changes to the website. It could be weeks or even months between update releases. We knew the site had more than 100,000 visitors each month and we needed a way to provide them with news about feature updates or tips for using the system.
WebAssign Website Before
I worked with a team to identify the three main audiences for the site — instructors, students, and publishers — and determine how each audience would use the site. I also completed a competitive analysis to look for patterns familiar to our audience. I then worked with the marketing director and communications manager to create an information architecture that would best organize our inventory of information and make sense for our users to navigate.
Exploration of user scenarios
I began sketching ideas and collecting feedback from colleagues — many of them instructors who have used the product. I created wireframes before moving on to high-fidelity screens and a style guide. I also designed all of the visual elements (icons and illustrations) for the site.
Banner and Icon Illustrations
The Development & Testing
I worked with a remote developer to take my vision from high-fidelity screens to the WordPress platform. Once there was a functional site available, I performed some usability testing at our users group meeting with new users and socialized the redesign with long-time users for feedback. I made necessary changes to the site and continued work with the developer.
The Completed Site
The new responsive site was launched in July 2014. The instructors' ability to get product news and tips was significantly improved. Our support staff also saw a reduction in calls from students as they could more easily find help online.