Academy of Art

Art U

Creating a branded school tour

Read Project Brief



Academy of Art

Project Type

Web App


Art Direction

UI Design

UX Design

A branded school tour for Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art University is one of the premier art schools in the nation, but their traditional methods of student recruitment were slow and required unnecessary labor.

With an ever-increasing amount of student interest outside the city of San Francisco, ArtU needed a digital tool to provide prospective students with branded information.


One size does not fit all

The school tour needed to work for three types of students:

Students within the city of San Francisco who could tour with an admission representative in person, students who lived outside of the city and students who were interested exclusively in online schooling.

Ideation leads to strategy

In order to create a school tour that would meet the needs of three distinct users, development and design had to be in sync. Brainstorming lead to creating one tour that would serve data based on user’s needs.

There were many attempts at creative ways to perform the tour with students, but ultimately screen sharing and speaking with the student over voip was the most consistent way of speaking with prospective students. Things likes various degrees of tech savviness and internet connection speeds led to this decision.

By working with ArtU’s development team, the design of the tour would allow for users to be served program related data.This would be enabled by the admission rep once they spoke with the prospective student and determined the appropriate program to walk them through over the phone or in-person tour.

A complete design system

Users can choose card templates based off category or tags. Default pricing and card options allow users to quickly scan and find a card within their price range. After a card is chosen they may begin editing their selection.

In the case of complicated or dense areas of the tour, the ArtU admission rep would relay this information over the phone or in-person to cut down on potential visual clutter.


Project discoveries made

Don’t be afraid of scrapping good ideas. Especially if it's at the expense of your users.

Taking lessons from the current admissions team allowed the tour to work with processes that were already in place. The most difficult part in the process was creating a logical experience flow that showed the client how to take a lead from a form submission on a landing page, to a warm lead that an admissions rep took through the school tour.

Initially the tour was going to be very interactive with prompts for both users and admission reps. However the more this was tested, the more it was discovered that while the prompts were fun and great looking, the experience suffered greatly. User internet speed and browsers were too inconsistent to warrant the features. In the end the product is fast, visually appealing and works exactly as ArtU needs it to.