Application Overhaul

Timeline: 2-week design/ 1-month user testing • Materials: Pen, Paper, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Xd

UX Techniques: Analytics , Secondary Research, Competitive/Comparative Analysis, User Flows, Low Fidelity Wireframing, High Fidelity Mockups and Prototypes

Background and Problem

The enrollment department at National University was inundated by the number of leads/ students filling out intake forms. The department wanted to be able to work with potential students in a timely manner. The goals were to help the department field leads by expediting the “new student” process and helping advisors manage the incoming lead flow. To do this, we created a double-layered thank you page set up.

This is one of the last steps in the funnel to becoming an admitted student, but also one of the most important. This is where we take prospective students inquiries and turn them into leads so it is crucial that the process and the application itself have a good user experience. Going back to school can be overwhelming and intimidating and the application was too much to go through. There were 14 steps a user has to take – way too many. It’s understandable why there was a high abandon rate and low completion rate. Users got scared, overwhelmed, and just left.

Old application showing all 14 steps a user had to go through to submit


The first thank you page contained a “jump to application” button for the potential student to click. Here they would fill out a few more form fields and by doing so, they would be moved to the “front of the line.” The purpose of this was to motivate leads to act quickly and, in turn, this enabled advisors to determine and prioritize warmer leads.

To achieve this, we converted the original, long, cumbersome form into a multi-step form. Research shows that multi-step forms have a 14% higher completion rate than single-step forms. In this consolidated application, we called App-Lite, there are only 3 steps that actually hit most of the information in the 14 steps. All throughout this experience the user is reminded that they would be fast-tracked for communication with an advisor. Also, there was a personal video on the Thank You page from the President of National University once a user applied.

User flow for app-lite form and submission page


The big idea here was to have the user only fill out a couple more form fields to hook them. Then, because an advisor knew they were interested they would reach out to them to put the finishing touches on the application.



After we defined the core functionalities and user flows that we needed to include in our solution, we created quick, low-fidelity, wireframes. Using these wireframes, we were able to decide what to include in the final experience before jumping into the next iteration of our design.

Low fidelity wireframes showing elements and user journey


We always implement a mobile-first design strategy since most of our traffic comes through mobile. The idea here is to start sketching and prototyping for the smallest screen first and then work up to larger screens. Essentially, it’s about delivering the right user experience for the right device.

A high fidelity prototype of artboards being linked together to complete the user journey 

A high fidelity mobile prototype showing the user journey 

A high fidelity desktop prototype showing the user journey 


Performance for this strategy has been really well received from both prospective students as well as the advisors in Enrollment. Implementing these changes helped secure more overall leads and thus more revenue for the University. Overall leads have gone up 21.5% year-over-year because of the implementation of this strategy/page.

Finding snapshot of the increase of leads from 2018 to 2019

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