The Unified Student Experience project (USE) is a campus-wide project that is working to unify the online and in-person CU Boulder student experience. When student support offices work independently to offer online tools for students, the result is a fragmented and overly complicated online experience. By integrating and unifying student-facing campus services and support, we will enhance how students find the resources they need to succeed and thrive at CU Boulder. Our goal is to transform today’s fragmented digital and physical student support landscape by creating a seamless experience for students.
A major outcome of the USE project has been the creation of Buff Portal, an intuitive and inviting online portal for CU Boulder students. By developing our own portal at CU Boulder, we are able to continually improve and tailor Buff Portal to meet student wants and needs.
This project had executive sponsorship from our Provost, Russ Moore, and Senior Vice Chancellor, Kelly Fox.
We are actively partnering with students and campus offices to build and enhance the new student portal. Students have been involved at every step of the Buff Portal design process - brainstorming designs, prototyping, and providing feedback to make sure the development of the portal was on the right track. Are you a CU Boulder student? Learn more and get involved with Buff Portal today!
Student-Centered Design Process
Step 1: Understand
Collect needs from students and campus offices.
Step 2: Brainstorm
Brainstorm and vote on card designs with students and campus staff.
Step 3: Prototype
Design and build testable prototype.
Step 4: Test
Students review prototype and provide feedback.
Step 5: Refine
Final design is built. Students test. Iterate as needed.
The below design principles were articulated by students and executive leadership and serve as success measures for Buff Portal.
- Adhering to accessibility standards to design a seamless experience that is comparably accessible to all students, including students with disabilities.
- Protecting student data and other confidential information as listed under the Policy for Web Site and Web Application Safety.
- Providing students with a comprehensive single, point of entry that connects them to all administrative and academic services that they need. This includes pervasive single sign on.
- Designing an accompanying face-to-face or virtual, peer-to-peer, or staff-to-student experience to connect students to the resources they need when they need them.
- Personalizing the content and providing students control over the information they see. This includes providing students with several options on how to find the information they need.
- Designing an adaptive experience that provides students with the right information at the right time. The experience adapts to the specific time in the academic year, to the type of student, their current status, etc.
- Designing an easy-to-learn interface with functions that are easily understood or easily predicted by students.
- Allowing students to accomplish tasks easily with reduced frustrations.
- Providing students with a robust technology infrastructure that does not fail them when they need it the most. This also includes the online experience being browser agnostic.
- Allowing students to get their tasks done in the most efficient ways. This includes leveraging mobile-friendliness and search and integrating all student data with all systems.
- Leveraging beautiful and aesthetically pleasing interfaces to design a delightful and pleasant online experience.
- Designing for simplicity. Allowing students to accomplish tasks in the least number of steps possible.
*The Seamless Online Student Experience: Summative Report has additional information about Buff Portal’s design principles.