In 2020, the University at Albany overhauled and combined its Financial Aid and Student Accounts websites to create an entirely reimagined Student Financial Services (SFS) website (albany.edu/cost-aid) that mirrors their physical one-stop-shop office.
The primary goal of the redesign was to better serve our students and their families by creating an online tool they could more easily use, understand and rely on to help them finance their education. The website’s content needed to be accessible and useable to a diverse range of users — from first-generation college students to academic advisors — and give all users the same foundational understanding of financial aid and billing basics, so the SFS staff could focus more time on working with students on their individualized needs.
The secondary goal was to create a website that could be easily updated, but would require less frequent maintenance, by the SFS staff.
During this session, we’ll discuss our key challenges and takeaways, including how we researched user needs, harnessed analytics, reorganized and rewrote web content, reduced the total number of webpages, and unified two websites into one cohesive user experience.