University of East Anglia

UX research and design, business transformation

Project overview:


The University of East Anglia is a public research university based in Norwich located on a 320 acres campus west of the city centre, the university has four faculties and 26 schools of study. It has over 14,000 students and over 3,000 staff.


UX Designer, part of Anglo-Dutch multidisciplinary team (Worth Systems), consisting of two UX designers, Scrum Master and Change Management Consultant working between UEA campus and The Hague. Responsible to Marketing and Admissions (product owner) and UEA Senior Management Team.


Gain insight into behaviours and attitudes of prospective undergraduates in order to increase admissions. Conduct needs analysis to support redesign of UEA staff portal and gain value from intellectual capital. Align UX research and design activity  with UEA 2020 and 2030 strategy.

My contribution at a glance:

  • facilitated stakeholder workshops
  • located on campus with UX planning sessions held in The Hague, Netherlands
  • used agile sprint planning methods (Jira)
  • co-created scoring and value-based prioritisation model
  • facilitated features design hack
  • conducted off-site (schools) and campus-based (staff) interviews
  • developed, validated and iterated persona designs
  • mapped user journeys
  • mapped student service lifecycle
  • facilitated rapid prototype hack
  • created lo-fi clickable prototypes (Balsamiq)
  • conducted f2f testing of staff portal prototype
  • scoped model for undergraduate/researcher ecosystem

Tools: Adobe CC, G-suite, Office 365, Jira, Balsamiq, Validately, Invision

What we learned and what we achieved:

  • user insight from sixth-form colleges informed design
  • surfaced staff portal operational issues
  • staff surveys accredited by UEA research ethics committee
  • considered Brexit scenarios in service lifecycle and design
  • developed divergent taxonomy for Undergraduates and Postgraduates
  • prototyped mobile-first conversion funnel for prospective Undergraduates
  • prototyped desktop portal design with Postgraduate Research staff
  • scoped service ecosystem, linking admissions, research, and influence channels
  • prioritisation model removes bias and aids decision making
  • established sustainable UCD process
Paul Fillingham editing in the Thinkamigo barn

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