SUNY Microcredentials Case Study

Microcredential Website Redesign & Marketing Solutions

Client Overview

Established in 1948, the State University of New York (SUNY) is a leading public university system in the U.S., consisting of 60+ institutions. Renowned for its commitment to accessibility, academic excellence, and research contributions, SUNY continues to be a vital force in advancing education and knowledge within and beyond the state of New York.

SUNY microcredentials offer a trusted pathway to cultivate specialized skills and competencies. These microcredentials enable learners to propel their careers forward, complete their degrees, or seamlessly transition into different industries.

Project Goal

SUNY was looking to update the digital experience of their microcredential directory. Microcredentials are shortened educational programs designed to provide experience and knowledge in specific fields of study available across different universities but unified under SUNY.

The project spanned the redesign of multiple pages of the SUNY microcredential website and included a total overhaul of their existing directory, including enhancing user interface, updating content to be more impactful, and restructuring the categorization and filter system. There was also a marketing strategy phase aimed at amplifying the reach and accessibility of SUNY's microcredentials.

Services Provided

Interface Prototyping
Responsive Web UI/UX Design
User Research & Stakeholder Interviews
Marketing Planning & Content Optimization


Taking an agile and iterative approach, we redesigned the user experience, keeping it consistent with SUNY branding. By creating user personas and understanding different user journeys, we crafted the pages using our extensive research to provide the most intuitive experience possible.

We conducted stakeholder interviews across several SUNY campuses to fine-tune our marketing and content strategies. A comprehensive competitor analysis allowed us to revitalize the copy of the microcredential descriptions. By streamlining the filter categories and improving the information architecture of the directory and content brief pages, users would be able to find the right microcredentials and information needed to take the next step in their careers.


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Updated Directory Design

Our team did a complete redesign of the microcredential directory, allowing learners to quickly and easily find the perfect microcredential. The redesign, incorporating SUNY's branding, improved user engagement and prioritized responsive web/mobile design principles, allowing for a seamless experience on desktops, smartphones, and tablets.

HIMSS - Site Speed

Course Page Design

With a more detailed look into individual microcredentials, learners can discover more about the courses and find crucial information, like prerequisites, cost, duration, and more. We introduced this page to highlight decision-making factors that a learner would consider before registering for a microcredential. The versatile page template was optimized for desktop, tablet, and mobile, accommodating SUNY’s 600+ microcredentials that cater to a diverse and extensive audience.

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Individual & Partners Page Redesign

Microcredentials can be used by individuals looking to upgrade their professional skill set or by team leaders aiming to provide their employees with new competencies. With tailored individual and team pages representing different user personas, we enriched the microcredential program's digital experience. The designs prioritized aesthetics and engagement, aligning with SUNY's commitment to accessibility and fostering innovation.

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Content & Catalog Optimization

To refine and enhance SUNY's catalog of microcredentials, we revitalized the descriptions and categories of microcredentials and added new filters, such as "New and Popular," to promote user exploration and engagement. With hundreds of microcredentials from different universities, it was paramount that their descriptions were harmonized with consistent messaging, style, and adherence to proper conventions.

The previous categories SUNY used to filter and organize microcredentials were unevenly distributed, had excessively lengthy names, and did not capture the true breadth of microcredentials offered. With our team's competitive analysis, we came up with a simplified information architecture that logically groups microcredentials of similar topics and fields of study together in a manner that feels intuitive to users. We cut the number of categories down by 20 with a collaborative card-sorting exercise. Using industry conventions for naming, microcredentials became more informative at a glance and cohesive across SUNY institutions.

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Marketing Solutions

Beyond design, we provided comprehensive digital marketing strategy and planning, targeted copywriting, and press distribution. By holding stakeholder workshops, our team came up with impactful copy for the website that clearly communicates the unique value of SUNY microcredentials and encourages enrollment in courses. With this mindset, we incorporated promotional blocks, banners, and forms throughout the website, prompting further exploration of the experience.

By meeting with communications team leaders from various universities at SUNY, we were able to identify areas to tackle before starting our marketing strategy development. This included a program newsletter, press initiatives to bolster recognition, and other outreach recommendations to draw attention to the SUNY microcredential program. With the marketing plan in place, SUNY was able to seamlessly market the redesigned directory, increasing program visibility and reinforcing its status as a premier public university system.

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The collaborative efforts on SUNY's microcredential program have yielded transformative results. The updated directory design has significantly improved user engagement and navigation, thanks to its enhanced interface and streamlined categorization. Prospective learners can efficiently discover their microcredentials, exploring a broader range of options in significantly less time during a single web visit compared to before.

Individual and partner pages now offer a more personalized and accessible digital experience, ensuring users embark on unique journeys. The enhanced personalization not only addresses a myriad of commonly asked questions but also fosters increased collaborations and attracts a diverse community of microcredential students.

The comprehensive marketing strategy, informed by competitor analysis and user insights, has successfully amplified the program's visibility, attracting a broader audience and solidifying SUNY's position as a leading public university system. With a robust content strategy and marketing plan for the future, the microcredential program is poised for growth, ready to benefit millions of students seeking knowledge from SUNY's extensive network of 60+ campuses.