Columbia University Redesign

Increasing Alumni Engagement


Redesign the Columbia University Alumni Association web experience to effectively communicate the value of being an alumni and increase engagement of members in the community.


I was the UX designer on this project.  I partnered with the head of marketing for the Alumni Association on the requirements and a developer.


The website was more like a blogroll than a site for alumni engagement. This didn't provide much value to alumni as the perks were hidden deep in a sea of links, leaving many alumni events to be under attended and university donations to plateau.


We started by throwing the current personas away and going through the exploration process to develop new ones for guiding design decisions. I mined data on current alumni and students to build an experience that would cater to alumni old and soon to be new. We brought in a group of alumnus and walked through an exercise to elicit requirements, prioritize those requirements and get feedback on draft mockups. We launched the changes over several months and received a lot of good feedback from alumni.

Notable improvements:

  • Responsive Design
  • Changed from static to dynamic CMS
  • Clear navigation and information architecture 
  • Clear CTA for donating to the university
  • Ability to create and modify alumni profile account
  • Ability to live chat with CCAA representitves
  • Ability to register and add events to personal calendar