UCLA Bruin Day

Welcoming newly admitted students to campus

My Role

User research
User testing
Information architecture
Visual design


Account director
Art director


Google Analytics


Each spring, UCLA offers admission to a competitive class of freshman and transfer applicants. Shortly after students receive their admission offers, they get an invite to a campus event called UCLA Bruin Day. Over 6,000 people attend each year to learn about academic offerings. They tour the campus and housing facilities and experience student life firsthand.

Admitted students repeatedly credit their visit to campus as a major factor in deciding to attend UCLA. So attending Bruin Day is an important step in our marketing funnel and one that increases admitted student yield.


Our creative team completely revamped the brand identity of Bruin Day. They produced art direction that communicated the vibrance and warmth of UCLA. It would be applied to signage, print programs, social posts, email, and the website. But we felt the existing site presented experience problems a new identity couldn't fix:

  • Content architecture was flat and text-heavy
  • Landing page lacked a compelling pitch to attend
  • Schedule listed 200+ events with no search, filters, or bookmarking features
  • Registration path had a needlessly complicated user flow
  • Website didn’t communicate the event experience in general

There wasn't much internal will to address these things. So we had to convince leadership that these issues could frustrate users, lower attendance, and affect student yield. We wanted to improve the online experience, not just rebrand it. Admission offers and other student business were now transacted online. We felt it was imperative to be in step with that change.

Identifying Solutions

User Testing & Interviews

I partnered with a marketing producer in advance of the project kickoff to conduct user testing and interviews. Our goal was to identify critical issues and share participant feedback with stakeholders. We hope doing so would expand the scope of work to address these things.

We observed 8 recently admitted students as they moved through the email, website, and registration funnel. We also interviewed them about their experience visiting campuses and making college decisions. In doing so, we documented pain points and identified important things to address:

  • Simplify the marketing and registration funnel. Students get lost in the flow of non-uniform links and directives on different channels.
  • Highlight the benefits of attending and visually communicate the event experience.
  • Visually show the event experience.
  • Provide a searchable list of events so users can find ones that match their interests. Also show what's important to attend regardless of personal interest.
  • Include interactive maps of campus and events locations so student can orient themselves in advance. Large campuses are intimidating to students, and so many said they were afraid of getting lost.

User Flow & Sitemap

I proposed a simpler user flow to improve event marketing and registration. Then I expanded the sitemap with new content to address user needs. I presented a one-page research summary and these documents in my pitch to expand our scope. Our internal leadership approved resources for this proposal. We were on our way to designing a new site.

Event Filters Taxonomy

To improve the experience of the events schedule, I moderated a card sort with 5 student interns. I asked them to start organizing events into their own categories. I also tasked them with sorting events in predefined categories. Then I invited them to provide feedback on the benefits of different groupings and nomenclature. My colleagues evaluated the results and worked with me to finalize event categories for filters.

Visual Design

I designed wireframes that addressed content architecture and events calendar functionality. I then designed desktop and mobile layouts based on art direction set by our creative team.

Next Project

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