and Harvard College Admissions & Financial Aid

work Harvard College Admissions & Financial Aid

Three-site consolidation and comprehensive redesign

By the time Happy Cog was fortunate enough to assist with the digital strategy for another key function within the Harvard ecosystem — Harvard College Admissions & Financial Aid — we were already well-versed in many of the internal and external perspectives that shaped Harvard’s brand and messaging goals through our work on Harvard’s primary website.

At the beginning of our engagement, the Harvard College, Admissions, and Financial Aid websites were separate websites, each responsible for delivering content to audiences interested in many of the same things. One of Harvard College’s primary goals was to increase and streamline its information accessibility, so Happy Cog was charged with combining three independent websites into a singular, comprehensive experience.

Happy Cog’s primary mandates for this project were to make relevant content findable at all points, to create a rich and immersive experience, to establish a clear and compelling voice, and to provide smart tools and resources that anticipated user needs. By smartly leveraging existing assets, empowering users through thoughtful navigational structures and simplified content (including video), and incorporating effective social sharing, we greatly enhanced the experience for myriad audiences. We also created an extensible design system to provide Harvard College with the tools they needed to maintain and evolve the site.


Brand, Design, Development, Strategy, and UX



The website design put a spotlight on Harvard’s efforts to provide potential opportunity to all its applicants (no matter their financial situation); and Harvard’s rich diversity, increasing each year. The content strategy for this site was cut from the same cloth of the .edu redesign: create clear (and responsive) wayfinding, elevate student voices over Harvard’s voice, and continue to progress towards a personalized, inclusive experience.