A resource hub for special education redesigned

Kansas Technical Assistance System Network (KSTASN) ︎︎︎

5 months
Information Architecture, Design System, Prototyping

2 UX designers,  1 Project Manager

Launched in 2014, the KSTASN website is packed with valuable resources for special educators, but its design lagged behind. This redesign delivers a fresh look and intuitive navigation through a streamlined design system, empowering educators with a modern platform for learning.

View live site︎︎︎


Feature-rich, visually dated: KSTASN website needs a modern makeover

Challenges that the old website had:
  • Dense menu was tricky to navigate through all the amazing resources.
  • Didn't capture the values that KSTASN embodies.  
  • Lack of a design system was causing incoherent components and styles.


A new design system and intuitive navigation

Our goal was to create a new design that offers these key elements:
  • An easy-to-use navigation: clear menus and intuitive search.
  • A reflection of KSTASN's spirit: friendly, professional, and always there to support.
  • A unified and responsive design system: a single source of truth for components, patterns, and styles – no more disjointed experiences.

New sitemap simplifies navigation

Prioritizing clear navigation, we kicked off the website refresh by restructuring the sitemap. We streamlined the top-level menu to just four main pages, chosen based on website performance metrics.  


Crafting a visual language that's Professional, Resourceful and Friendly

To guide our design process, we started by identifying key terms that describe the visual language: "professional," "resourceful," and "friendly."

Exploring ideas and refining our vision

We iterated through three rounds of design explorations. Here are the feedback we got each round:
  • Round 1: Strong structure, but elements clashed.
  • Round 2: Cohesive elements, but lacked warmth and approachability.
  • Round 3: Textures & shapes added friendly touches and vibrancy, prompting further refinement.

Implementing a design system

Building upon Bootstrap, the existing framework, we established a comprehensive documentation of TASN design system in Figma. This system encompasses all essential styles, components, and patterns.

View the design system in Figma︎︎︎

Detailed notes of components (interactions & states) ensured clear communication with the development team.

Three major iterations

01. Implemented responsive filtering

  • Mobile users struggled with scrolling through the expanded filter.
  • Implemented collapsible filter categories.
  • Allowed users to select filter options without extensive scrolling.

02. Highlighted events and resources on project pages

  • Each TASN project page is linked to valuable events and resources but they were hidden.
  • We now highlighted them at the top of each project page, shining a spotlight on their importance.

03. Refined dropdown menu for enhanced clarity

  • Eliminated visual clutter and confusion by separating menu links, based on user feedback.
  • Clarified the "Admin mode" toggle switch with a clear label, improving usability.

The final design that blends multiple elements

By blending multiple elements, we crafted a design language that embodies TASN's core values: professional, resourceful, and, above all, welcoming. This balance ensures users feel empowered and supported as they navigate the vast amount of resources. Here's what makes our new design tick:

Responsive design

A huge segment of TASN’s users are on their mobile devices - so we paid special attention to making sure the site works great on all screen sizes.


Homepage and Request Assistance Form

Resources page and Filtering

Reflections & Next Steps

While we're thrilled with the initial impact of our website updates, there's always room for growth. Looking back, here are some key takeaways:
  • While time and budget limitations steered us towards smaller updates, deeper research upfront could have informed even more impactful changes.
  • Closer collaboration with developers in the early stage, especially on intricate elements like the filtering system, would have avoided redundancies and ensured smoother integration with existing software.
  • The next step would be to track our site metrics such as completion rates, time spent, and user satisfaction.

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