As the university continued to grow, they wanted to achieve Tier One status. “Tier One,” “Top Tier” and “Nationally Competitive Research University” are terms used interchangeably to refer to universities known for world-class research, academic excellence, an exceptional student body, and the highest levels of innovation, creativity, and scholarship. Universities that receive this certification enjoy national “brand” recognition and prestige.
How do you take information that could be text-heavy or full of charts and turn it into an engaging site that attracts people and provides quick access to information?
How can we highlight all of the university's achievements to support its goal for Tier One status?
Not many people in the university or local community understood the value of Tier One status. I interviewed several UTSA faculty and staff as well as several people from San Antonio to determine what type of information they would find valuable.
In total: 14 Interviews + 22 Survey Responses
01 Need to promote the value of Tier One status
02 High need for easily understood information
03 Need for intuitive navigation
04 Desire to showcase the university's achievements
"I had no idea what Tier One status was. Now that you have explained what it means for the university, I understand why it's important."
KATHRINE, FACULTY MEMBER
"If I am trying to find information, I don't want to have to hunt around for it. I like to have headlines and links to lead me to exactly what I'm looking for."
SYLVIA, STAFF MEMBER
"I think it's great that you connect the achievements of UTSA's faculty and students to Tier One status. I can't see why you wouldn't achieve it."
CAREY, SAN ANTONIO RESIDENT
To inform the UTSA community and the general public about the value of tier-one status, the university needed an information hub that provided everyone with easy access to the facts, figures, and value Tier One status would have for both the university and San Antonio as a whole.
Who are we talking to?
Because Tier One status is something that is sought by people in Higher Education, I worked with my team to tailor the design to individuals who are employed by or otherwise engaged with a college or university. In addition, because Tier One status is a positive ranking for the communities where the institutions reside, the secondary audience for this site were the residents of San Antonio along with city and state government officials.
Solution and Results
After the launch of the site, UTSA executives and development officers were able to use the site as a talking point as well as refer the media to it. There was a noticeable uptick in the number of stories regarding UTSA's goal of reaching Tier One status at various media outlets throughout the state and the city.