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2017 Open House

Look + Feel + Function Elevated

The University of Texas School of Information (iSchool) hosts its annual Open House every spring to showcase the innovations, insights, and ideas of graduate students exploring the new frontiers of the information field. For the first time ever, the iSchool Career Development Office (CDO) launched a new Open House Awards Program to recognize the best student work presented at the event.

To highlight this new program and facilitate guest participation in the voting process on the day of the Open House, the CDO commissioned a new promotional microsite which was integral to the event's success.

My Roles

  Content Strategist / Information Architect     Front End Designer     Project Manager

I led a multi-disciplinary team in designing the new Open House site, including the creation of a database-driven archive of student projects. As the content strategist, I spearheaded the information architecture development of the web pages and coded the layouts as well as collaborated on the database schema design. As project manager, I prioritized and assigned tasks to team members, ensured that deliverables were completed on schedule, and facilitated communication between project stakeholders (the CDO and IT) and the design team throughout the development process.


   Create a bold, clean design that reflects the diversity of the information field
   Make site responsive and easy to search for on a mobile device
   Design a project database structure that is scalable
   Concept, develop, and publish teaser site in just 4 weeks / final version in 6 weeks

The CDO envisioned a web presence for the 2017 Open House that was bigger and better than the iSchool has ever produced before. In addition to revamping the event page with a bold new look and feel, the CDO wanted to expand the function of the site to include an archive of student projects that visitors could browse on their phones while attending the event. The CDO also planned to instruct guests in attendance to visit the Open House site in order to vote online for their favorite projects during the event.

Design elements wireframe for landing page

Design Strategy

Throughout the design and development process, I tackled several key stakeholder requirements with strategic solutions that addressed user needs and improved the user experience:

   Simple, mobile-friendly url
   Concise, yet descriptive top level domain (.info)
   Reusable, evergreen url that can redirect to most current event page year after year

Creating Icons

   Increases visual appeal of listed items
   Reduces cognitive load by visually connecting categorically linked content

Project Spotlight

   Reflects the variety of professional interests in the information field
   Pops of bright spring colors create an exciting visual story
   Student photos and quotes build personal connection with the audience
   Spotlight served as teaser/promotional content while the student project database was still being completed


   5.5 TIMES MORE pageviews on day of the 2017 Open House, compared to 2016

  123.3% INCREASE in total pageviews from April-May 2017, compared to 2016

   I wanted to personally thank you for all your hard work and fabulous talent... I’ve heard so many positive comments about the elevation of the look and feel of the event, and that is solely to your credit. I’ve had the pleasure of working with numerous web and design teams over the years... you could hold your own with the best. Thank you, thank you!      - Beth Hallmark, Director of Career Development