CBU Marketing Applications

CBU Marketing Applications is an internal web app that helps California Baptist University's marketing team manage various projects and interface with internal systems.

My role

UX/UI designer, project manager, and front-end developer.

My methods

Wireframes, prototypes, UX research, UX writing, visual design, project management, and front-end development (HTML/CSS/JS).

Overview

California Baptist University (CBU) is one of Southern California's fastest growing university. With an enrollment of over 10,000 students, and over 1,000 employees, CBU's Marketing unit is tasked with providing professional marketing services across print, digital, and advertising mediums. I served as both project and design lead with a small supporting team (one content designer, one marketing specialist, and one backend developer).

Problem

CBU's Marketing unit provides a number of services ranging from marketing websites to print collateral. In order to scale the demand for their services from internal departments, they needed a central system that could unite various functions and systems to expedite their work. At the time, a number of legacy systems were used, but they were very rigid, not user friendly, required individual accounts, and required contracting with outside vendors whenever maintenance or improvements were needed.

Process

For the design component of this project, I followed a four-phased approach:

  • Discovery — identified project scope and established framework for minimum viable product
  • Design — designed the UX (wireframes and simple prototype), designed the UI (high fidelity designs)
  • Research — performed user research and validation
  • Development — built the front-end

Discovery

Initial discovery for this project focused on the two different types of users: Marketing unit staff who would use the system everyday, and university staff who would use the system to submit project requests and marketing content. I conducted user research via group and individual user interviews that enabled me to identify the unique needs of these users. Some of the questions I asked included:

  • How do you use the current systems?
  • How do you complete work?
  • What are the biggest pain points for you with the current systems?
  • What is an ideal feature you’d like to see implemented?

What emerged from this research was that we needed an umbrella system with various features (e.g. project management, marketing content collection, etc.) that function as “apps”.

Design

I sketched some preliminary wireframes to identify necessary functionality and establish the foundation. Then, I moved onto designing the UI, choosing to be conservative both in use of color to match the CBU brand, and visual hierarchy as it was important to not clutter the interface for two reasons: 1) the end user needed to be able to use the system with ease; and 2) the marketing staff needed to be able to review and process requests quickly. I also worked with our graphic designers to design some icons for the various features.

CBU Marketing Applications sign-in

CBU Marketing Applications sign-in

CBU Marketing Applications dashboard

CBU Marketing Applications dashboard

CBU Marketing Applications Project Request

CBU Marketing Applications Project Request

CBU Marketing Applications URL checker

CBU Marketing Applications URL checker

Development

In my role as front-end developer, I used the Bootstrap framework as a base to help build the initial prototype and eventual MVP. This was a way to get up and running quickly and allow me to create the appropriate placeholders for the backend developer to tie everything together. Once my front-end development was done, I worked with the backend developer to complete overall development and launch the product.

Reflection

I was in a unique position to see the results of all the hard work the team and I did on this product throughout my time at CBU. The initial launch signaled a significant shift in the way CBU Marketing operated as uniting seperate systems into one platform enabled greater efficiencies in both planning and execution of marketing tasks.