Future student online experiences

Future student online experiences

Sharing the work of the Prospective Student Web Content Team

Category: Content strategy and design

The theory and practice of everything content strategy – strategic, operational stuff, content and systems design..

..anything that’s relevant inside the content life-cycle – including search, IA, SEO etc. would fall under this category.

I look back on what we learned by running six design sprints over the spring and summer of 2021, both in terms of shaping the research and design technique to suit our circumstances, and in terms of what this has meant for shaping the future provision for prospective students.

After adding links to school-specific guidance in our content around teaching and learning in 2021-22, we found that prospective students only interacted with content from a handful of schools.

Since the spring, our team has been working with the Enquiry Management Team to update website content to answer the questions prospective students are emailing about.

It’s a little over a year since we delivered our first user-centred enhancement project and I’ve been looking at analytics to dig deeper into how we’ve influenced website visitor behaviour to reduce unnecessary email enquiries. Analysis shows we influenced over 25% to self serve rather than make an enquiry.

I recently audited our prospective student web estate, and learned a lot about the planning process as I went. Here’s some advice on how to tackle your own content audit. I’ve broken the process down into a few simple steps.

Auditing sounds scary. It’s one of those things that often gets overlooked because it just feels too hard or because we don’t have time for it. But it’s essential if you want to manage your content efficiently and minimise risk.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are not a sensible way to structure web content. They might be easy to produce, but they’re difficult to consume and risky to manage. Here are five solid reasons to ditch your FAQ pages.

We completed our first design sprint just before Easter. At the end of each design sprint we look back on what we’ve learned. This is the first in a series as I share our progress working towards an interactive concept of what will replace the current degree finders.

Content on what teaching will look like in September is limited by the difficulty of predicting what restrictions will be in place. But there’s evidence that saying what we can is already delivering value to students and the University.

The unpredictability of the Covid-19 pandemic makes it hard to predict what teaching will look like in September. But we can still try to provide content that’s useful for students and helps us prioritise improvements.

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