Pepperdine Panhellenic

Skills: Research Methodology | Data Analytics | User Personas | Site Maps

In my former role as an advisor for the Panhellenic Association, I worked with student leaders to lead a website refresh for Pepperdine Panhellenic to re-evaluate the user experience of the website: While we employed UX research strategies, I gained more experiences involving information architecture and site maps. The website is hosted on Squarespace.
About the Client
The Pepperdine Panhellenic Association is the governing body of over 500 women at Pepperdine University. As the governing body, student leaders conduct group business, organize women-center programming, participate in service & philanthropy projects, and facilitate large-scale recruitment for potential new members to join one of the seven member organizations.
The Original Pepperdine Panhellenic Website Homepage
Problem Statements
Pepperdine Panhellenic’s website attempted to reach a broad audience: current members, potential new members, prospective students, and curious parents. Current students were not accessing resources provided on the website and were instead defaulting to embedded links on Instagram, emails, and word of mouth.  
Another challenge was having seemingly too much information on the site and having some content repeated in several areas. Potential New Members (PNMs) were seeing redundant information on the site. 
The drop down navigation in all displays (mobile, tablet, and website) interfered with the other headlines making some functions inaccessible.
Data Analytics showed that users were accessing the website at nearly equal frequency on mobile devices as on web displays.
All users were having issues with the drop down navigation interfering with overlapping headers.
1. Reorganize the sitemap and content to eliminate the need for drop down navigation which was not user friendly in desktop or mobile form
2. Archive seasonal content (i.e. recruitment information) to display relevant information based on the semester
3. Retire “Chapter Resources” and other unaccessed information as revealed by site analytics 
4. Disseminate FAQs and information previously deemed “For Parents” into a reorganized “About” section that shared community details and values
I drafted a sitemap that prioritized and reorganized subpages and content.

I realized that there was too much information to fit the scope of paring down the website. After reorganizing content into already made headers, some content did not neatly fit in with those categories. After receiving feedback from current students, they provided input that continuing members have other forms of communication and information gathering (mass emails, in-person announcements at meetings). This encouraged me to prioritize this audience less. After reviewing the “For Parents” section, much of the content was relabeled as values in the “About.” This left the prospective students and PNMS, that for all intents and purposes, were the same audience.
I revisited the data I collected and I learned that the website received a spike in the summer and recruitment months. Also that the most visited content within a full year was recruitment content (“Formal Recruitment” and “Pre-Recruitment”) and “Meet the Chapters.”
This graph of user traffic to the site reveals the highest traffic in the summer and recruitment months, confirming that potential new members are primary users.
This graph of the most popular pages on the site inspired the consolidation of the “Formal-” and “Pre-Recruitment” pages into the main Recruitment sub-page.
“Chapter Resources” was one of the least visited pages, so “Meet the Chapters” with chapter profiles and information became the sole content in the Chapters section.
Revised Solutions
1. Identify a PRIMARY audience (potential new members) to communicate a primary message: provide information about Panhellenic membership and benefits.  
2. Combine Recruitment content into one header 
3. Redesign the Chapter section to highlight each chapter and include their own external website and Instagram handles 
4. Add Contact Us section with a contact form so that PNMs can ask questions directly to leaders and staff 
Visit to see it live!

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