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SIEBEL SCHOLARS

Connecting tomorrow's leaders to shape the future

Creating better care
by empowering physicians

PLATFORM
Responsive Web

ROLE
UX, Visual Design

YEAR
2019

TIMELINE
4 months

A redesigned web experience for the world's brightest minds

Siebel Scholars Foundation was established by renowned American billionaire, Thomas Siebel, in 2000 to recognize the most talented students at the world’s leading graduate schools of business, computer science, bioengineering, and energy science. Siebel Scholars are an active, lifelong community of an ever-growing group of leaders. Each year, more than 90 exceptional students are selected as Siebel Scholars based on academic excellence and leadership potential to receive a scholarship grant.

They came to us for a reimagined web experience that fosters the Siebel Scholars community. A platform for the world to explore how these bright minds are shaping the future. A place for the Scholars to connect and collaborate to make a lasting impact. We created exactly that, and more.

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Auditing the current experience

We reviewed the current website for content, visual design, structure and usability issues. I audited the experience page by page and documented all the points of concern and areas of opportunity. This helped us define the key problem areas to target:

1. Site is not responsive.
2. Information overload.
3. Actions are buried.
4. Hard to find relevant content.
5. Brand vision and purpose isn’t clear.

Before

Getting to know our Scholars

We interviewed the product stakeholders - 10 Scholars, the Foundation members and the founder, Tom Siebel. In addition, we ran a survey where we received 63 responses from the Scholars. This helped us understand the needs and goals of our users before we began the redesign. Things we learned:

1. Most Scholars currently don’t engage frequently with the site; on average they visit once every few months.
2. Scholars want to easily search and discover topics of interest, projects and scholars.
3. The top 3 most important aspects of the community to Scholars are events, jobs, and engaging with others on common interests.

OUR VISION

Inspire, empower, and engage scholars to make a lasting impact in the world.

Inspire, empower, and engage scholars to make a lasting impact in the world.

Our Guiding Principles - based on Insights

Insight 01
Siebel Scholars aren’t compelled to keep up with the contributions of other scholars or participate in the site’s community.

Inspire Engagement -
The website should better showcase the efforts and impact of its scholars, as well as ways to take action.

Insight 02
It’s hard to find scholars, projects, and relevant content on the current site.

Enhance Discoverability-
Scholars should be able to find relevant content and other scholars quickly and easily.

Insight 03
Many graduates are unaware of Siebel Scholars before they are nominated.

Amplify the Brand-
The Siebel Scholars Foundation is a world-renowned scholarship whose vision, mission, & purpose should reach everyone.

Restructuring the Website

We mapped out the current architecture of the marketing as well as the signed in experience. Following that, we identified where the structure could be simplified and created the new IA that would help us start building out the wireframes. During this process, we collaborated with the PM and dev team to ensure that all the features we were proposing would fit the scope and timeline.

Wireframing & Visual Direction

The IA set a strong foundation to begin wireframing. We actively referred to our competitive and best in breed analysis during this stage. While I was working on the UX, the team hired a contract visual designer to build moodboards presenting different art directions. I collaborated with her and helped finalize the visual direction with the client. This approach gave us a headstart with the visual design as I wrapped up the high-fidelity wireframes. Following the approval of the visual style, I started building out the responsive web design.

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What's your Story, Homepage? 

One of the most crucial things to nail down was the story we want the homepage to tell. What should people know about Siebel Scholars? There was a lot to say and we had to figure out a compelling way to tell that story. We collaborated with a content strategist to map out different approaches on the content hierarchy and collected feedback. 

Approach 1 (Winner):
Focus on who they are

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Approach 2:
Focus on what they do

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THE REDESIGN

An easy way to discover content

Siebel scholars are experts in the fields of Bioengineering, Business, Computer Science and Energy Science. Everything they are and everything they create revolves around these industries. To explore the impact made by scholars, we created a quick and efficient way for people to browse relevant content based on the field of study. You can select the field you would like to know more about, and find articles, scholars and projects specialized in that area of interest.

A clean and dynamic search experience

A streamlined search that is accessible at all times from the navigation bar. It reveals a simple and bold search modal that takes over your screen and offers you results grouped by category.

A modern directory of Scholars

Explore and find scholars all over the globe using the world map or custom filters - like university, year of graduation, field of expertise and location they are based out of. Be it a company looking to find a potential job candidate or a scholar looking to collaborate with other scholars, this public directory strives to be a platform to connect.

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An MVP signed-in experience for the Scholar Community

Talking to the Scholars during the discovery phase revealed an untapped potential in the power of the community. Scholars found it difficult to stay in touch or keep up with updates on a regular basis. They wanted to network, connect and collaborate. This talented, ambitious group of people needed a platform that supported their drive to do more, be more. To satisfy this need, we created an experience that let's them be an active, contributing member of the community. A place where they could safely share content, create and join groups on common interests, post job openings and connect with other scholars.

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Built for every device

The Siebel Scholars website is fully responsive, adapting to screens of all sizes and shapes.


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Launched with impact

There are over 1400 Siebel scholars across the world who have collectively founded 150+ companies and launched 1100+ products. The numbers continue to increase significantly every year. This website is armored to support and augment their growth. After multiple feedback rounds, testing and QA sessions, the website was successfully launched in January 2019. Within the first month, the website saw an increase in engagement. This was measured by the number of monthly active users, returning users and the increase in page views.