The challenge

Client: Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

Duration of the project: 6 months

Enrollment into higher education programmes is under the authority of The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation. Applicants have been able to fill their applications online, at least partially, since 2014. Since the epidemic the entire enrollment process has been available through an online portal

In the past two years there has been a rise in demand for support with filling out the enrollment form and a growing number of unfinished applications from applicants in the system. This is what led the Higher Education Division to approach us to firstly, test the existing user experience and define opportunities for improvements and secondly, to design an improved user experience of the online application form, including redesigning the user interface.

What we did

The project was divided into two phases, the research phase and the development phase.

During the research phase, we planned and conducted 7 in depth interviews with applicants, while also observing the process of filling out the online application. Together with the Higher Education Division team and the Support team from Student organisation we reviewed and prioritised opportunities for improvements.

We then used the prioritised improvements and guidelines as a starting point for designing and developing the new user interface. In this second part of the project we also involved the development partners of the Ministry and worked closely with UI designers in order to ensure the feasibility of our designs. The design of the new interface was again tested with 5 applicants and upgraded based on their feedback.

The Ministry plans to implement the new form on a new platform in time for next school year enrollments (24/25). We will return to support the implementation and repeat testing to make sure we minimise the need for support.

Ouputs & outcomes

During the research phase we identified 8 problem areas applicants face during the application process and developed 7 design principles for the UI upgrade. Together with the Higher Education Division and ŠOS teams, we further identified 28 priority upgrades out of a total of 50 upgrade opportunities.

The new concept for the form covered two core scenarios, enrolment into 1st stage higher education programmes and enrolment into 2nd stage education programmes, both including variations for foreign citizens. While developing wireframes we identified opportunities to further simplify the form and cut the number of steps from 7 down to 6. We also applied the Public Administration design guidelines and adapted them for the design of the form.

We have prepared a short booklet* where you will find an overview of the design thinking mindset, process and a selection of methods and tools. *Only in Slovenian for now.