Designed for Discovery and Exploration

Our Role
Product Management
Design Management
Product Design
UX / Interaction Design


UI, UX, Digital Assets


The Brief

The Credential Finder is a web-based application that allows users to search, find, and compare credential information. While fully functional, the Credential Finder is intended to serve as an inspiration for the types of custom applications that organizations, institutions, and agencies can develop. The goal for these tools is to make it easy for learners, administrators, educators, providers and employers to find and act upon the various credential opportunities available to them. Our brief was to design a site that allows these multiple audiences to see the data in action. Because each audience understands and accesses the data based on a different mental model our goal was to create a flexible tool that allowed an open exploration of the data

The Challenge

There are close to 1 million different credentials and countless of organizations, educational institutions and employers in the United States. The Credential Finder references a living, interconnected mesh of data based on a common description language (CTDL). Credential transparency empowers everyone looking for education and training options with the data they need to make a well-informed decision, enables employers to better evaluate the value of a credential’s ability to meet business needs, and allow organizations that service students, workers, employers and other stakeholders to provide clearer information about the value of various credentials.

Taking this complex data structure with its highly technical structure and making the content legible to the multiple audiences was the main challenge. There is no single authoritative view of the data. While credentials area good starting point, that still reflects the framing of a small portion of the intended audience.

Codename Design’s adept team uses a UI/UX design methodology that is efficient and delivers a complete package that sets up the development team for a successful implementation.

Credential Engine is looking forward to continuing our partnership with Codename Design to turn complex workflows into elegant and durable UI/UX design and development projects.

Jeanne Kitchens
Chief Technology Services Officer, Credential Engine

The Solution

Our goal was to make it possible to search, discover, and compare every type and level of credential along with comprehensive information about content, quality indicators, connections, skills, pathways, outcomes, and value. The decision to follow a “show me don’t tell me” approach meant that we needed to reverse engineer the complex internal language into legible groups of information (like credential types, subjects, costs, location or duration).
Any of these facets can be starting point for comparison. We created an enhanced facetted search that allows a flat presentation of the data through various entry points. Each content type though organizes information in legible blocks that are consistently displayed throughout the site. This flat approach allows users to change the avenues along which they explore the content as they navigate. I may start by comparing credentials, but I can easily switch to a view that is organization-based.

The Design System

The new design system sticks to the the brand colour palette but adds a new font to the brand system specifically for the Credential Finder. Also a custom icon set allows to differentiate the various content types. As the number of ways the content can be filtered and the number of frames the content can be viewed from is continually increasing we needed to provide an extensible system.

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