Case Study

Ellucian

Unite 65+ products around a shared customer experience vision

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Overview

Ellucian is a global leader in higher education software, with more than 65 products that support campus management used by faculty, administration, and students. Ellucian was founded in the early 1970s and has expanded continually through acquisitions. While these acquisitions greatly expanded their product range, the look and feel ranged widely across products. Since users often need to use more than one product to accomplish their goals, their experience became very disjointed and incoherent.

Variate worked with the Ellucian leadership team for over two years, leading strategic and tactical projects to reimagine the overall customer experience across all products. Variate redesigned multiple flagship products and helped unite all digital teams around a shared design system and improved design process.

Our “start-with-one-product” strategy allowed Ellucian to launch the new design within six months and have an immediate market impact while still working on additional product redesigns. The new process improvements and reimagined customer experience led to greater efficiency, faster deployments, a higher level of accessibility standards, and more revenue. Ellucian leveraged the new visual identity through its marketing and sales touchpoints, repositioning the company as modern and design-oriented. Students, faculty, and administrators can now access all Ellucian products through one single interface and enjoy a consistent experience across all products.


What We Did

  • Vision for transformation
  • New standards team, design process, and governance model
  • Created a new design system for white-labeled products
  • Multiple product redesigns

Outcomes

Change
0
x

Faster deployment

1 New Design System and governance model
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New Design System and governance model

16+ Product teams supported across the enterprise
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Product teams supported across the enterprise


3 Big Takeaways

  1. Start with one product to create your new system of design
  2. Create a strategic implementation plan to enable seamless product rollouts
  3. Design system best practices for white-label products

1.

Start with one product to create your new system of design

At Variate, we believe the best way to build momentum around a new product design system is to start with the redesign of your product with the most opportunity. Variate led a redesign project for their flagship ERP product (Power Campus) using this strategy. We designed and developed clickable prototypes for three potential directions, enabling customers to experience the new designs and provide detailed feedback to our team.

1.

Start with one product to create your new system of design

At Variate, we believe the best way to build momentum around a new product design system is to start with the redesign of your product with the most opportunity. Variate led a redesign project for their flagship ERP product (Power Campus) using this strategy. We designed and developed clickable prototypes for three potential directions, enabling customers to experience the new designs and provide detailed feedback to our team.

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Variate explored a new navigation design and functionality that could be applied across the product portfolio. The new designs went through qualitative and quantitative usability testing to ensure their viability and appeal. We continued to design multiple templates and components, which served as the foundation for the new Ellucian Design System. The new components were coded in React and complied with WCAG 2.1.

Variate explored a new navigation design and functionality that could be applied across the product portfolio. The new designs went through qualitative and quantitative usability testing to ensure their viability and appeal. We continued to design multiple templates and components, which served as the foundation for the new Ellucian Design System. The new components were coded in React and complied with WCAG 2.1.

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2.

Create a strategic implementation plan to enable seamless product rollouts

Then, multiple product teams leveraged and refined our Design System to transform additional individual products. Team members had had six months to meet Phase 1 requirements (navigation structure, fonts, colors, and icons) and one year to complete Phase 2 requirements (full adoption of new components). Variate worked closely with the standards teams and individual product teams to answer questions about the design system, elevate and train individual designers across teams, and streamline the standards team communication and delivery process. We integrated user research throughout the design process and aligned designers with developers in sprint cycles.

2.

Create a strategic implementation plan to enable seamless product rollouts

Then, multiple product teams leveraged and refined our Design System to transform additional individual products. Team members had had six months to meet Phase 1 requirements (navigation structure, fonts, colors, and icons) and one year to complete Phase 2 requirements (full adoption of new components). Variate worked closely with the standards teams and individual product teams to answer questions about the design system, elevate and train individual designers across teams, and streamline the standards team communication and delivery process. We integrated user research throughout the design process and aligned designers with developers in sprint cycles.

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3.

Design system best practices for white-label products

Variate also created the foundation design system Ellucian uses to support design teams across all enterprise products. All education products can be white-labeled by individual universities and must pass WCAA 2.1 AA standards for accessibility. Variate worked closely with Ellucian to define the standards and create a design strategy that enables individual universities to customize their software using their colors and select a unique primary color from a set of colors to pass accessibility guidelines for all interactive elements.

3.

Design system best practices for white-label products

Variate also created the foundation design system Ellucian uses to support design teams across all enterprise products. All education products can be white-labeled by individual universities and must pass WCAA 2.1 AA standards for accessibility. Variate worked closely with Ellucian to define the standards and create a design strategy that enables individual universities to customize their software using their colors and select a unique primary color from a set of colors to pass accessibility guidelines for all interactive elements.

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Get in Touch

Are you interested in learning more about Ellucian or any of our other Education or enterprise transformation projects? Contact Us.