Ontario Centres of Excellence
SIMPLIFYING THE APPLICATION PROCESS AT THE ONTARIO CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE
Akendi helped this not-for-profit agency streamline and simplify its funding process through a new online application portal.
The Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) helps the province’s publicly funded colleges, universities, and research hospitals commercialize their innovations. To create a more user-friendly process through which clients could apply for innovation services and funding online, OCE turned to Akendi.
Through stakeholder research, Akendi learned that the existing portal’s one-size-fits-all format was cumbersome and confusing to users. In fact, an OCE staff member would often need to help applicants complete forms that were meant to be “self-serve.” Through end-user interviews and workshops we identified key user personas that informed the creation of wireframes.
The design was further improved through usability testing insights that ultimately resulted in simpler forms and an updated visual design that is clear, concise, helpful, and visually appealing.
With its updated portal, OCE will improve the experience of users applying for funding
online and reduce the support time spent by staff around the application process. The new
homepage quickly guides users to the pages that are relevant to them, and the redesigned forms
no longer require the user to enter duplicate or redundant information. Visitors will follow a clear,
easy-to-understand application process that supports them from start to finish.