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Gogebic Community College

UX Design | UX Strategy

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Gogebic Community College, situated in Michigan’s majestic Upper Peninsula, supports economic growth through partnerships with local businesses and industry. GCC educators use cutting-edge technology and training to ensure a bright future laden with opportunities. 

Northwoods Higher Ed Strategy & Design Experts Develop Distinct Paths for College Website Users 

The brand statement for Gogebic Community College (GCC) is “Go Bold,” but its current website isn’t delivering a bold experience. The school needs a new, modern, robust site to highlight its unique location and engage prospective and current students. So, Gogebic partnered with the higher education experts at Northwoods to better understand GCC website users and achieve their digital marketing goals.

The Situation

GCC’s existing website looks dated, lacks a cohesive design, and is missing out on opportunities to deliver an engaging and relevant experience to its primary users. 

The sitemap is not intuitive, and content for each audience is mixed within the navigation.

Gogebic’s staff needs an easy-to-manage site with simple options for visitors to apply, make payments, and access important information.

The Solution

Northwoods conducted focus groups and student surveys to gather user insights and data to develop a comprehensive strategy and identify eight distinct user personas.

A reorganized sitemap creates clear paths for each type of user, offering streamlined navigation and easy access to tools and resources.

The Northwoods team created a mood board to help guide GCC in achieving a consistent look and feel across all digital marketing channels. 

Northwoods delivered ADA-compliant design prototypes that highlight Gogebic’s distinctive geographic location through strong photography and on-brand outdoor motifs.

hand-drawn bird, chirping

“It has truly been a pleasure working with the Northwoods Team. The research and design phase was very thought out and detailed including surveys and focus groups. They listened to our stakeholders and came up with a design that truly represented the college, community, and region. When changes were necessary, they listened and came up with a creative solution while meeting deadlines. We would strongly recommend the Northwoods Team to anyone looking to redesign their website. Their team is very friendly and easy to work with. They have made the process fun and exciting!”

 – Kim Zeckovich, Director of Admissions, Marketing and Community Relations, Gogebic Community College

The Design

Gogebic’s website design refresh offers improved menu navigation and a simplified layout to showcase its academic programs and student lifestyle. The overall design draws inspiration from the school’s “Be Bold” brand statement, as well as its rural setting, range of seasons, campus ski hill, and proximity to Lake Superior.

Gogebic’s signature bold green is woven throughout the site, alongside a mix of both color and grayscale images. Featured design concepts include outdoorsy textures and icons, image sliders, bold fonts, and loading, scroll, and hover animation effects that create an engaging, on-brand user experience.