Waylon Baumgardner

CBU Marketing Projects System

Responsibilities: Product design; Project management; User research, experience design, and testing; User-interface design; Front-end development

Screenshot of CBU Marketing Projects System showing two screens: one is a Dashboard with a list of projects, another is a Report view with an at-a-glance pie chart breaking down the percentage of projects by status

With an enrollment of over 10,000 students, and over 1,000 employees, CBU’s marketing unit is tasked with providing the university with professional marketing services across print, digital, and advertising verticals. In order to provide these services, the marketing unit needed a new project management system to replace their legacy system. The legacy system was very rigid, not user friendly, and required contracting with an outside vendor whenever maintenance or improvements were needed.

As the lead designer and manager for this project, I conducted user research via group and individual user interviews that enabled me to identify the unique needs of the marketing unit. Some of the questions asked included:

After analyzing and interpreting the research results, I found the following appeared among the top answers and formed the basis for the next steps:

  1. Too many projects were being requested with unreasonable due dates
  2. The project priority options were not clearly describing the project urgency
  3. Submitting projects was time-consuming and cumbersome

Armed with this research, I sketched some preliminary wireframes to identify functionality. Then, I added some more detail, but chose to be conservative both in use of color and hierarchy as it was important to not clutter the interface for two reasons: 1) the end user needed to be able to request projects with ease; and 2) the marketing staff needed to be able to review and process requests quickly so they could focus on what really mattered (creating excellent products to market the university). Because there was a bit of a time crunch, I used the Bootstrap framework as a base to get the project going, and then iterated from there.

The end result saw delivery of a project management system tailored to the marketing unit’s needs, placed the user first, and enabled the marketing unit to complete their work more efficiently.