ITS websites & service desk application UI

Web design and development for Information Technology Services at the University of Melbourne

Laptop and mobile view of ITS website

The brief

The goals for this project included:

  • integrating the site into a new template framework
  • along with reviewing the IA and voice and tone, align the visual communication and interactions to ensure ITS messaging was more user-focused and friendly
  • using a dashboard style for the front page
  • improve consistency of messaging across ITS applications – including developing a common visual language to be used across the ITS website and the service desk applications


The tools I used in this project included:

  • Fireworks (wireframes, mock-ups and functional specifications)
  • Bootstrap (HTML prototype / template framework)
  • Squiz Matrix CMS
  • HTML, CSS, jQuery
  • Photoshop (image editing)
  • Excel
  • Basecamp (team / stakeholder comms)
  • GoPlan

First steps

Team sketching sessions

Each of our team was asked to come up with a critique of the existing page and provide some quick concepts about how they would improve the front page, to discuss as a group. This was my version. My goal with this design was to visually clarify the process, make self-service options more prominent and make all of the important information accessible up front.

Above Early wireframes / concepts for a service desk page redesign – late 2011.


Late in 2012, I designed and developed an interface for the new ITS website. This involved putting it into the new CMS templates and updating the design. These were some of the early explorations.

Below Homepage wireframe
Below Service desk login wireframe

Icons & visual language

The brief for this project was to update our website and to create a visual language that could be used across IT applications, including Remedy, the ITS help tool.

The brief for the website redesign included integrating a design with a new University template, and creating a more friendly, accessible and helpful ambience. Using a dashboard influenced style for the front page, facilitated an at-a-glance summary of a complex array of information (for a diverse range of users) in a brief space (which then linked into further information).

The header background was designed to add a light, serene (and progressive) ambience, and the colourful icons to add friendliness and warmth. The goal was to try to promote a soothing and orderly feeling for users - who were contacting ITS often when they were a bit stressed, trying to solve their IT problems quickly in order to achieve their other, primary goals.


Mainly due to time constraints, these icons were mostly chosen from pre-existing icon systems with a common look and feel, although some were designed from scratch (eg. the propellor-head geek icon) and some were customised versions of existing icons.

Above Early explorations for an icon and colour system to be used across the website and IT applications
Above Close-up of part of the custom background header image

HTML prototypes & CMS development

Late in 2012, I designed and developed a new ITS website. This involved putting it into the new CMS templates and customising the interface.

Above:Homepage - version 1

Finding tools

A variety of findability tools were integrated into the site to cater to users different finding preferences / different contexts. All of these were custom-built to be automatically maintained using asset-builders within Squiz Matrix CMS.

Mega menu


A fully accessible mega menu allowed for quick access to content multiple-levels deep from any page within the site, as well as a quick at-a-glance overview of the sitemap for each section.

A-Z index


An A-Z provided an alternative way of searching for content, using quick alphabetical links. Alternate labels could be cross-referenced using links to aliased pages.



Adding a custom search to the site allowed a flexible way to search within the ITS domain. Given that the site content was moving from public into a protected intranet space it was extra important to have this functionality available, as it would now be hidden from search engines, and the University's public site search.

In addition, there was a site map and an FAQ page.

Version 2: Mobile first redesign & intranet integration

Version 2 was fully responsive website, which was also a model demonstrating how other staff intranets could be quickly integrated into the new Staff Hub (as an interim measure whilst a full solution was being built).

Above: Homepage, XL screen - version 2
Above: Homepage, mobile version (WIP), showing both menus open


I built a proof of concept in HTML, then in Squiz Matrix CMS, demonstrating how the integration of personalised menus could work. Once logged in, these would show options depending on what permissions you had – eg regular users would see options customised to them (eg. logout / change password) editors would see an additional editors menu, and administrators would see all menus, which provided shortcuts to key tasks and support options.

I wanted to make support information easier to find so that sites could be maintained more consistently and reliably – making for a more meaningful experience for both site maintainers and users.

Intranet integration

As part of the University's new Web Strategy, there had been discussions about how to integrate informaton for staff into a central hub. This was an early concept about how this might be done as a first stage, with minimal overhead for redesigning the existing sites - by adding a global header to the existing sites.

Mobile first templates

Whilst the first version had responsive elements built in and could be viewed on mobiles and tablets, during 2013 I started to look at building a version that was 'mobile-first', fully-responsive, and better optimised for mobiles and tablets. It also made more use of the space on wide screens.

Example: Responsive help module

The 'we can help' unit on the front page was adapted to fit to four different views to suit their context - eg. mobile had a much simpler list view and large desktops utilised more space to expose more 'information scent' / links to popular content for each category.

Support / handover site

This was the first support / handover site that I created entirely online (previously provided in Word/PDF documents) to assist site editors and maintainers with site administration tasks.

Above Support site homepage

Sharable and discoverable repository

The purpose of these sub-sites was to make the content more sharable and linkable in a modular way (eg to be able to share instructions for specific tasks) and to include the site maintenance tools (eg. news builders, content management dashboards) together in one spot.

Embedded, findable and discoverable

These were linked under a /support folder in the main site, but had permissions assigned to it so that only logged in maintainers and administrators could view it.


Certain sections could be maintained within a central repository and nested within each site, so that we could maintain an authoritative hub of information for web maintainers.


Other sections were relevant only to that sub-site and could be updated and extended by site maintainers according to their particular needs after handover.

Content Management Tools

Tracking table

Content management tools were built into the support site that enabled users to sort tasks by status, owner, reviewer, title, parent, etc...

Tracking bookmarklet

Maintainers could preview a range of content meta information could be viewed at the top of any site page in the site by using a URL prefix (or a bookmarklet). Including page goals, meta descriptions, search terms, and other meta information.

Above Content management tools
Above News asset builder

Content builders

I created some asset-builders to allow site maintainers to create new content easily via a form / WYSIWYG interface, such as adding new news items.