NU Graduate Programs

No more hard work before classwork

It used to take ten web sites to find a grad program. Now students don’t need to think so much.

Professor Plummer in Boston for an Accounting certificate…or, Doctor Scarlette online for a masters in Business Administration?

Before this project, students didn’t have a clue.

Beginning with in-depth interviews with prospective students, we studied how grad school decisions are made.

We learned that fitting their life situation is crucial. We learned that cost is important, but value more so. We learned that faculty members and their research give credibility.

And we learned that no database had all this info.

So we built one.

What We Did

  1. Virtual Ethnography
    Deep dive interviews with candidates to understand motivations, decision process and needs (both expressed and implied)
  2. Experience Strategy
    User and business requirements brought together to establish guiding principles
  3. Taxonomy
    Card sorting to name and organize programs into areas of study
  4. Rapid Prototyping
    The strategy brought to life and new brand standards applied
  5. Design Validation
    Usability study to test key scenarios with target segments and revise designs
  6. Development
    Database creation for use across multiple web applications, APIs built and integrated, Angular, responsive front-end and thorough QA

What We Didn’t Do


The AI advisor is living in a sketch pad. The VR campus tour is backlogged. What we delivered was content that never before existed, wrapped in a clear and compelling experience. And a solid platform to build upon.



Engagement. SEO. Mobile usage. Leads. Applications. Conversions. They’re all up.

The site is now the #3 most visited of the university (out of a thousand or so).

But most importantly, this foundational project has led to a prolonged partnership with NU. And they just called—actually—to do the next thing.

“Our partnership with ZeroDegrees has been invaluable in our quest to make broad improvements to the transactional aspects of our digital landscape. They’ve helped us build beautiful, user-friendly and highly functioning web products while ensuring our students are the ones driving the design through qualitative research and user testing.” Christine Celli AVP of Digital Experience Northeastern University

Case Studies