BridgeEnglish student portal

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February 2015. Denver, Colorado.

I landed in Denver in a time of many changes for the Bridge Education Group. The web team I used to be part of now shifted its focus into equally marketing materials and the embrace of the user experience to better direct their efforts.

The school partnered with four centers in the United States, which serve as a gateway for international students seeking to gain admission to U.S. universities and colleges.

While the staff remained the same, the business possibilities expanded in ways where there has to be some planning to make scalability a reality.

The story of a bottleneck

The process of admissions requires the submission of many forms and different types of information. Especially since the U.S. government needs to give the green light even before the students can get an acceptance letter from any university. That makes it a double problem.

Students often submit incomplete data, or they don't have it all at once. 80% of them are from the Middle East, making it hard to talk with a representative because of the time difference.

And of course, the cultural differences present a challenge for the admissions coordinators to follow up and ensure the students have all their papers before their due dates. So there is a need for:

  1. Have a checklist of all the required documentation
  2. A secure and fast way of making payments
  3. Keep tracking of the leads

Something this robust just can't be built in a small team that has to deal with many other projects simultaneously. But we can hook the information to services like Salesforce. And with that, create a web portal for students to submit their information. Improving the admissions coordinator's life, by managing and compiling all the data into a single place.

Building a web user portal for international students applying for admissions could become a centralized platform for handling information. To confirm this is true, we have to see completed student applications with a time reduction of either phone or email assistance in the process.

What happens when you enroll

The Student Portal requires the participation of every single stakeholder in the process. The remarkable quotes from several interviews and meetings were:

  • President: "We are growing. It's time to find a way to scale when we add more universities."
  • Marketing: "Students want to see their application status, and being able to modify the information at any time."
  • Product Manager: "We are few people to deal with too many admissions. Pursuing students asking for their papers is very stressful."

We started sorting cards

With admissions managers from Bridge and Universities, To build a sitemap Based on the categories and the requirements of each information field

Crafting the Customer Journey and its interactionsConditional fields may appear depending on the users' choices.

Wireframing

Addition of visual aids

Usability Testing Sessions

With three applicants volunteering as participants

A global language school looking for a way to manage its enrollment process quickly and securely.