Image Credit: Lynsdie Schlink

Bone Student Center

Website/Illinois State University/2014

The Problem

The Bone Student Center at Illinois State University is one of the most used buildings on campus. Comprising of restaurants, convenience shops, the campus bookstore, and multiple administrative departments, the on-campus audience ranged from students of every level, to faculty and staff. In addition, “the Bone” housed Braden Auditorium, one of the largest entertainment venues in the city which hosted events ranging from Commencement to Snoop Dogg concerts. The website was over seven years old and desperately needed a refresh to meet contemporary technological demands of its audience.

The Project

A complete overhaul was needed for the website in order to focus university goals, audience priorities, an end-user improvement. The success of the project hinged upon allowing the marketing coordinator to broadcast multiple levels of events against varying timelines as well as allowing users to access the website from their phone, tablet, and desktop browser. Basic information such as hours of operation and retail info saw geysers of activity from students throughout the year. In addition, the Bone Student Center wanted to position itself as premier campus venue to outside shows, conferences, and events to increase revenue.


  • Played key role in discovery and vision phase with clients.
  • Researched and visualized past analytic data to determine traffics patterns.
  • Created personas based on analytic data to humanize user experience and decision-making.
  • Worked cooperatively with web team and clients to identify website priorities.
  • Created website wireframes and high-fidelity mockups.
  • Worked cooperatively with designers, editors, and developers during website build.
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The Solution

Dividing the homepage into major segments allowed for isolation of information, while providing easy clear access to actionable tasks. Taking queues from mobile app design, a button-like menu would provide quick jumps into deep-linked sections of the site during peak times. A dedicated feed-driven section for Braden Auditorium allowed the main marquee to highlight quicker, targeted promotions to an on-campus audience. Interior page layouts were designed and built to their content needs and allowed for existing promotional photography to shine.

The Results

After two years of operation, very little end-user support has been needed from the Web office. The marketing coordinator has kept the homepage up-to-date with local events and promotions, while the targeted menu buttons have seen an increase in traffic to their respective pages. Overall bounce rate for the site decreased by 25%, and returning visitors increased, spread over information about room rates, parking, and restaurant information. As expected mobile traffic increased when school was in session. 😉

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