Ontario Centres of Excellence


Akendi helped this not-for-profit agency streamline and simplify its funding process through a new online application portal.


Web UX Design, User Research & Usability Testing


Case study overview
OCE web UX Design

The challenge

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.

OCE web ux designers Automic visual design brief
OCE wireframe design OCE visual web design

Our approach

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.

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About Akendi

Akendi is a human experience design firm, leveraging equal parts experience research and creative design excellence. We provide strategic insights and analysis about customer and user behaviour and combine this knowledge with inspired design. The results enable organizations to improve effectiveness, engage users and provide remarkable customer experiences to their audiences.