Web Design Background

University of Warwick

University of Warwick
Client

University of Warwick

Location

Birmingham

Services

Web Design

Website Development

WordPress

UX/UI Design

Animation

Motion Design

Designing Effective User Journeys for a Collaboration of 8 Universities

MICRA is a collaborative project bringing together 8 Universities in the Midlands to create the UK’s largest technology transfer ecosystem. The organisation’s services encompass new business incubation, investment procurement and product licensing.

Being such a complex organisation, the original website for MICRA was not user-friendly. It was jumbled, difficult to navigate and overwhelming. The incoherent user journey led to potential clients losing interest and leaving the site.

MICRA asked KIJO to simplify this maze of services into clear user journeys and create a new website that was engaging and easy to use. We also agreed to design new branding for MICRA to apply across their materials.

The two key goals for this project were:

  1. Website to show case studies, encourage innovators to bring their research to MICRA and attract investment and licensing enquiries from third parties.
  2. Communications Portal system via which MICRA could send information to innovators, investors and licensees securely.
Micra Gateway
Micra Gateway
Micra Gateway

Iconic Design

To add a visual guide to the separate funnels, we designed icons for each user type which are used throughout the website. These minimalist line-drawings are in-keeping with the navy and red colour scheme, and become brand assets for the organisation.

We wanted to create a header style that tied in with the existing MICRA brand, without being too bland. Rather than using just text, we introduced a red full stop at the end of each title. The result is visual impact in every header and a linguistic impact on each title, sounding snappy and forthright in their communications.

Micra Gateway

3 User Types

Designing User Journeys has to start with user types. Knowing the core target markets meant we could create clear navigation to the most relevant sections.

  1. Innovator – Researchers whose work has led to the creation of a new product or service
  2. Investor – Third parties looking to contribute to the development of new products or services for returns later on
  3. Licensee – Third parties looking to secure a license to sell a patented product or service developed through MICRA.
Micra Gateway
Micra Gateway

Multi-step Form

To ensure the user journey ends in enquiries, we’ve created a bespoke multi-step form which triggers different fields based on user type. Split into four stages, users begin by selecting a service, using the same action copy and icons as throughout the website. Stage 2 offers a checklist of facilities, companies and technologies, tailored to the user type indicated at stage 1. This helps collect first-party data and tailor mailing lists for future use. Stage 3 offers a simple free text box for users to explain their interest, giving their details in stage 4.

Clear User Journeys

These User Types are distinct audiences, with varying situations, knowledge and needs. As such, the user journeys needed to be as simple and clear as possible.
We decided to use a similar structure to our previous project with BCUAdvantage, and funnel users based on their goal.

A dropdown menu offers options reading:

  • I want to Innovate
  • I want to Invest
  • I want to License

This active copy is at once consistent across the site and distinct from one another, directing users to the relevant pages straight away. The phrase ‘I want to’ immediately encourages the user to commit to their goals, cementing MICRA as an organisation that has already helped them.

Micra Gateway

Animation

To soften the impact of our red buttons, we introduced subtle animations and micro-interactions. On hover, an arrow appears encouraging users to click through. These little interactions bring the site to life and help people find their way through the user journeys.

Birmingham City University Advantage

Birmingham City University Advantage

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