Research Application User Flow & Web Redesign






The St. Lawrence College Research Ethics Board (SLC REB) facilitates the process of applying for research studies within the school. They help faculty researchers by explaining what types of studies need REB reviews and steps needed to apply for reviews if necessary.


The SLC REB Officer came to us with the desire to address the current state of their web page. They noted abundant emails from past applicants trying to find answers already on the page, but not clear to them.

Our group was tasked with conducting user testing on their current web page and proposing redesigns accordingly. The goal was to improve usability and user comprehension of the application process.


We wanted to understand how users navigate the current REB web page to propose meaningful design mandates.

Each of us conducted usability testing to determine current user comprehension. The tasks we assessed included finding the correct application form based on a course of action (applying for internal research).

From results, we determined that users wanted to know their immediate actions including where to submit their forms. They were unsure whether their course of action required REB review.

The mandates we determined were to include a process of critical steps for application and to show in one place whether a user would need an REB review based on their course of action.


We categorized the current content into groups based on users’ course of action. This framework became the content structure in the revised web page. A new type hierarchy with greater contrast was established to help users group information.

I was tasked with creating the content and layout for the ‘Get Started’ page. I added a section answering what requires REB review and grouped sections based on course of action.

Another round of usability tests were conducted with the same parameters.

Insights were that users had trouble finding the section for internal research as the keyword “internal” wasn’t used. They wished to go between different sections of the ‘Get Started’ page more easily as it was a long page.

Our group revised the design to address these pain points. Distinction was created by creating separate sections for both internal and external researchers.

The application process was summarized in steps up top so users would know what to do regardless of their progress. A sidebar was added allowing them to navigate between sections without excessive scrolling.

The final high-fidelity prototype can be found here.


I learned that I should more closely consider how users navigate through content rather than the substance of the content itself. Because I overlooked this initially, it made the ‘Get Started’ page more difficult to navigate with a lack of sidebar navigation to instantly switch between sections.


Icons in this project were provided by St. Lawrence College and FontAwesome (modified colour):