Ellucian Design System

A new design system for 65+ education products


Client: Ellucian

Services: Design System

Project Summary

Redesign the Ellucian portfolio of software products for higher education administration.

The Challenge

Ellucian is a global leader in higher education software, with more than 65 products that cover the gamut of campus management and that are used by faculty, administration, and students. Ellucian was founded in the early 1970s and has expanded continually via a series of acquisitions. While these acquisitions greatly expanded their product range, the look-and-feel ranged widely across products. Since users often needed to use more than one product in the course of their work, their experience became very disjointed and incoherent. Ellucian engaged our team to develop a modern, responsive interface design system to unify the product portfolio and transform the user experience it provides.

The Approach

We started by developing a new visual design system for their flagship ERP product (Power Campus).  We designed and developed clickable prototypes for three potential directions, which enabled customers to engage with the new designs and provide detailed feedback on them.

In parallel, we explored a new navigation design and functionality that could be applied across the product portfolio. The new designs went through qualitative and quantitative usability testing to ensure their viability and appeal.

We continued to design multiple templates and components which served as the foundation for the new Ellucian Design System. The new components were coded in React and complied with WCAG 2.1.

Then, multiple product teams leveraged and refined our Design System to transform individual products. They had six months to meet Phase 1 requirements (navigation structure, fonts, colors, and icons) and one year to meet Phase 2 requirements (full adoption of new components). 

We also designed one point of entry for all Ellucian products that leverage the new navigation and design system. The new dashboard was task-based and provided notifications and assignments for the day.

While designing products we also evolved the User Experience Team with new hires and training. We integrated user research throughout the design process and aligned designers with developers in sprint cycles.

The Outcome

Our “start-with-one-product” strategy allowed Ellucian to launch the new design within six months and have a fast market impact while still working on additional product redesigns.

Ellucian leveraged the new visual identity through their marketing and sales touchpoints, which repositioned the company as modern and design-oriented.

Students, faculty, and administrators can now access all Ellucian products through one single interface and enjoy a consistent experience across all products.

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