As a first step, we spent time with the admissions team, sitting with them in their office, understanding how they currently did things. This was a vital step and incredibly interesting. No one knows the trials, tribulations, constraints, quick-wins and much more, better than the team performing the tasks each day.
With info from this initial consultation with the real users, we started to map out where and how a web application could take over from the spreadsheets and printouts. Storing the right information is the obvious and easy step, making it easy to enter the information is, again, not rocket science. Wrapping this up in a nice, usable, easy-to-understand interface was a key part. Starting with prototypes, we mapped out key user journeys and engaged with the admissions team to help us refine these, allowing them to picture how they’d use the application. The final key aspect we looked at was how we could automate key steps or ensure minimal effort was required to move a candidate along the admissions workflow. Through integration with UCAS, we pulled all application data into the tool we built, we also then triggered key tasks based on status updates (interview invites, offer letter merge and send).
The outcome was a web-based application that the admissions team embraced fully. They’d been engaged with its inception and although still apprehensive about the move away from their normal routine, they understood the gains that could be made. This first incarnation focused on taking the steps they currently performed, but wrapping it up within a browser-based application — simplifying each of their normal steps.