While representing UCI at national college fairs, I experienced usability issues regarding the university’s two pop-up banners: an alphabetical list of majors and a map of California intended to provide a sense of UCI’s location.
When a student approaches a table at a fair, often the first thing they want to know is whether that school has their major of interest. But for a student interested in engineering, for example, it’s impossible to quickly scan all 12 different engineering majors in an alphabetical list.
The banner of California was even less effective. Many prospective students know nothing about Irvine or where it is, and the map failed to illustrate the city’s unique attributes and the benefits of its southern California location.
For the majors banner, I categorized the programs into ten different fields of study so prospective students could quickly scan for their major of interest as well as browse any other areas of consideration.
For the California banner, it was important to address each of the city’s main selling points: its proximity to the beach and Disneyland, the availability of jobs and internships, and the diverse range of recreational activities.
And for students unfamiliar with California’s geography, it was necessary to illustrate Irvine’s location in relation to Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.
I iterated through a few design ideas of Anteaters taking part in various activities that exemplified life in Irvine before sending a final sketch (shown here) to UCI’s third-party vendor.
UCI recruiters saw an average 20% increase in participation and interest at local and national college fairs across the country. 60% of CA resident applicants picked UCI among their top choices on the UC Application and 52% of applicants overall picked UCI among their top choices.