Multiple times a year, USC welcomes thousands of new students to its campus. The Office of Orientation is tasked with creating programs that help the new undergraduate and graduate students meet their new community, and form their new home away from home. We were tasked with creating the digital experience for USC Orientation, and an easy to use, mobile-friendly site for a population bubbling with excitement and rife with anxiety.
The age of anxiety
Starting college or graduate school means turning a page to a new chapter in your life. Students arrive on campus at USC to meet their new home and community in a new place, with an unknown future of academic and social demands. It can be overwhelming, to say the least. We framed the project in the emotional experience of the user, and conceived of a website to help turn nervous butterflies into USC Trojans.
A new friend who shares your excitement
Previous websites for USC Orientation were full of information, but lacked the excitement of real students. We brought the user’s peers to the forefront with imagery that shows students having the time of their lives, team profiles that are full of quirky personality, and copy that features the student voice in quotes throughout the site. The sum total is an experience in which all are welcome, everyone is welcoming, and the user’s own excitement is reflected back at them. Which is another way of saying “t.g.u” (for everyone over 30, that means “totally get you”).
Make it easy
Students arrive on campus with so much to learn. It is easy for them to literally get lost in the details, so we were tasked with creating an efficient navigation experience that is both simple and extremely mobile-friendly. With 5 distinct user groups, we developed an information architecture that streamlines the user experience, and allows students to find exactly what they need, and even look up from their phones on occasion.