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Duke Alumni

Network Groups

JULY 2018

My Role

I led the initial wireframes and final designs that were then handed over to the developers.

The Challenge


The Duke Alumni website allows its users to manage their profile, connect with students for mentoring, and be apart of various groups. The original UI for groups (see above) left little to be desired by alumni and students, but was also limiting in its functionality. Stakeholders wanted to be able to do the following:

  • Have various user roles

  • Create sub pages for extra content

  • Send emails to group members

  • Display upcoming events

  • Add announcements

  • Manage group members as needed

  • Connect with the soon to be released Volunteer Portal and the newly launched jobs board

  • Create photo galleries from events, announcements, etc.

  • Have a dashboard where most of the group content can live (getting away from the current tab structure)

The Approach

After reviewing the functionality requirements, I consulted with our development team to research the feasibility of the requests. With their recommendations, I began working in Sketch on various wireframes. I presented the prototypes to the stakeholders and gave them several test cases to verify that the UX was easy and clear. We went through a couple of rounds of edits before I turned the designs over to the developers.

My team and I viewed several demos to test the functionality before handing over to our front-end developer for the CSS work. Stakeholders were then able to test the new groups pages before the final push to the production site.


The Result

We went from having very little traffic on our groups pages to having more robust digital engagement not only with alumni and students, but also with campus partners who now saw the value that groups offered. The number of active groups on the site doubled over the course of a year and also saw the addition of industry groups. (Note: because of the amount of work involved with all of the requirements of the new groups UI, we had to develop and release in stages.)


My Reflections

Groups was a massive undertaking on the Duke Alumni site. It wasn't always an easy project as my team and I faced push back from stakeholders and developers, but we managed to work through the UX process and produce a more viable product that our users wanted. It is also constantly evolving as we continue to add in new functionality.

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