“…The site is for tourists, not for students.”- Nielsen Norman Group, 2016.
Idea: This is a quote from an article on the usability of the Tsinghua University website by Nielsen Norman Group. Tsinghua University is perennially ranked as one of the top academic institutions in China, yet their website was deemed insufficiently user-centric. Our research indicated that it’s not right to assume that Chinese students or parents would favour complex and content heavy websites. In fact, Chinese sites should not be complicated. They need simple design, but they shouldn’t be oversimplified or minimalist either.
Therefore, we took inspiration from more contemporary web design in other Asian countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. We elaborated on the University’s current brand, taking the outlined shape from their existing design and added more diversity by applying it in various forms and colours. We designed the site with English and Chinese body copy simultaneously to cross check the layout, making sure that both would work with the design. Separate fonts were also recommended for English glyphs and English + Chinese glyphs to avoid clashes in their different x-heights.