The Project Spotlight is a recurring segment of our blog. In this segment we highlight recent project work and case studies.

Project Quick Facts



  • Phase I - 9 months
  • Phase II - 3 months
  • Brand Expression Guide
  • Service Blueprint
  • Business Strategy
  • Customer Journey Maps
  • Customized Salesforce CRM Platform
  • Pardot Marketing Automation
  • New Website Experience


Project Summary

In November of 2015, Story+Structure won the contract to develop a new student experience for the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Houston (SCPS). Unlike many of our clients, SCPS was already familiar with CRM systems. The school also used marketing automation to drive inbound marketing. In 2007 the school reorganized itself in response to mandated reductions-in-force from the state. As part of this reorganization, the unit shut down its call-center. Each remaining staff member took-on the advising role for at least one program. SCPS also designed a customer experience, supported by a new CRM. The results were a 78% increase in revenue in one year. Soon after SCPS was using data gathered by the CRM system to track:

  • Lead cost
  • Time to conversion
  • Conversion rates
  • Lead quality

Fast forward to 2015 and the unit's revenue was down. They had outgrown their CRM system. Some programs were still relying on 5+ year old email communication plans. The website had been around since 2010 and was not mobile friendly. The registration system was operating on a FoxPro database. SCPS needed to perform some major upgrades.

The SCPS story is common. Large investment of time and resources into an initiative. This leads to early positive results. Then the organization turns its attention elsewhere. Staff turn-over and other factors create a "it's always been this way" myth. Lack of attention and on-going upgrades and adjustments leads to failing systems. Then the process repeats as the organization makes another large investment in new technology.

SCPS recognized this issue and sought out Story+Structure to help them develop a new student experience as well as the tools to maintain the experience over time. The project developed into one of the broadest scopes of work that Story+Structure has undertaken. Through our Discovery process, we identified many core issues. SCPS identified seven challenges it wished for us to take-on as design activities:

  1. Brand expression engagement

  2. Business plan canvas

  3. Service blueprint

  4. Organizational re-alignment 

  5. Recruiting design

  6. SalesForce Implementation

  7. New website experience

Click here to read the full, in-depth case-study to find out more about the process and see the results of our work with SCPS. Interested in starting a conversation with us? Click here and we will put you in touch with someone who will talk to you about how human-centered design can help your organization.