Future student online experiences

Future student online experiences

Sharing the work of the Prospective Student Web Content Team

Evolving the undergraduate offer holders website

Last November, we worked with Communications and Marketing colleagues to evolve the undergraduate offer holders website. The purpose of this website is to encourage offer holders to accept their offer at the University of Edinburgh

Background 

We were approached to work on this project as particular areas of the existing website needed improvement. The issues with last year’s offer holder content were:  

  • difficulty finding key content
  • inconsistent layout of subject pages 
  • hierarchy of content not based on user needs
  • lack of strategy to appraise whether content was meeting user and business goals

Our approach 

We began communicating with school editors and asked their opinions on last year’s offer holders website. We also combined this insight with more research. This research included the offer holder decliner survey and a survey for staff to identify the top tasks for offer holders. As such, we were able to:  

  • establish patterns of offer holder behaviour  
  • gain a better understanding of what content they wanted to see and why 

What we did 

We redesigned the structure of the offer holders site to ensure the navigation aligned with these patterns of user behaviour and top tasks.  

Subject-level content templates 

One area we particularly focused on was the subject-level content. From what we learned about students’ priorities when exploring offer holder content, we created a new content template for subject pages. For example, events content is important for offer holders and so features more prominently at the top of a subject page.  

The template allowed us to structure the answers to other questions that offer holders wanted to know, such as: 

  • What will I be taught?
  • What can I do after I finish my degree? 
  • What is my school’s reputation and ranking status like? 
  • What is it like to live in Edinburgh?
  • What is it like to be a student at the University?

Creating consistency through a best practice guide 

Once this new subject template was agreed, we then created a sample subject page to show school web editors an example of best practice. We also created an in-depth best practice guide on how to create more effective content; this guide was distributed to web editors across all University colleges.  

This allowed different school editors to work to a consistent framework when creating their content for their subject pages. 

Measuring success 

The previous site’s lack of appraisal strategy meant it was difficult to gain an accurate understanding of how offer holders engaged with the content. But, we can now establish the effectiveness of the new content by measuring actions across the subject pages, for example: 

  • the number of event bookings 
  • the number of sample lecture views 
  • time spent on a page 

By doing so, this allows us to have a better understanding of what content users are engaging in most on a subject page.

Moreover, this insight will help with creating even more relevant content for future users in the coming years.  

Find out more 

If you’re interested, you can explore the site for yourself. 

Explore the new offer holders website  

Finally, we are always seeking new ways of improving the experience of prospective students and this example shows how our team can support the wider University community.  

If you want to know more about our work or how we can help, then get in touch with us. 

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