National University

Reinventing the application process for an online university

National University (NU) is a California-based university that offers a blend of in-person and online classes.  Before the new version was built, NU’s online application process was extremely clunky, forcing prospective students to create accounts and fill out cumbersome forms.  Brick Factory was brought on to completely rethink the online application experience.

Project Goals


Brick Factory worked with the NU team to simplify the application by removing unneeded and repetitive questions..

User-Friendly Design

A wizard-based design was developed that allows prospective students to get through the application quickly.

Increase Conversions

By simplifying the application process, National Unversity ultimately hoped to improve conversion rates and increase the number of applications it receives.


After an initial discovery phase focused on identifying which questions to include on the application, Brick Factory developed a wizard-style design for the tool.  The application includes a total of around 35 questions.  To facilitate completion, these questions were grouped into overall categories and broken into digestible chunks aimed at not overwhelming the applicant.

The application also includes a progress bar that shows what percentage of the application has been completed and where the prospective student is in the process.  The tool also includes a way for prospects to retrieve applications that have been started but not yet completed.

Before implementing the design, the application underwent user testing.  User testing allowed us to make language changes that clarified questions and to make minor design changes to improve usability.


The frontend of the online application was built using a form building system called  The Brick Factory team built a middleware system that sent application data to NU’s customer relationship management system and a lead scoring tool the university uses.  Separating the frontend and backend system gave us the flexibility to route applications to multiple data sources and allows us to quickly iterate and test changes to the form.



Percentage of users that complete the application after starting.


Improvement in conversation rate of new application.


Increase in online applications to NU as a result of the new form.