St Brendan's Sixth Form College
St Brendan's approached us to redesign their website, to celebrate and promote the fact that the college offered an outstanding learning experience.
Whilst a core objective of the new website was to increase applicants coming via the website, there was also a need for the website to better represent the college - to showcase it as the preferred destination for school leavers.
Our research process
It was key to the success of the website that we gained a full understanding of what the college stood for, who the target audience were and what role the website should play in their relationship with the college.
What we learned
Our research sessions helped us clarify the goals of the new website and build a set of recommendations for moving forward. This set of recommendations would act as an informal specification, ensuring that all future design decisions were grounded in our evidence-based research.
It was clear that the website navigation needed an overhaul and should be re-structured to make information easily accessible. Important content like term dates and travel information that are vital to students and parents should be clearly sign-posted, whilst simplifying the main navigation would create easy and intuitive points of entry.
Language and appropriate terminology was vital to students engaging with the website and we made recommendations for content presentation and navigation terms.
Students are the life-blood of the college. St Brendan's is an incredibly lively and fun place to be and the website had to reflect that. We proposed to bring a strong student voice to the website and make it easy for prospective students to see what the college is really like, from current students. This took the form of student-made videos giving tours of the college, case studies showing student progression and celebrating success, student blog posts and more student-focused use of imagery.
We presented a set of prototype wireframes to the website steering group in an interactive session where we explained and deconstructed our ideas, making only minimal changes to the prototypes whilst getting the approval for our proposed approach.
Design and build
The prototypes acted as strong and validated foundations on which we developed a visual design style. With students at the fore and a focus on simplifying the user experience, we created a new design that aimed to embody the college's ethos and values whilst making core tasks easy to achieve.
The website is developed using a bespoke build of our Content Management System Artisan, giving the college flexibility to manage their own content in a variety of ways and for the website to evolve over time.
We have built the website using a responsive design approach, ensuring users on any type of device or screen size get a tailored view of the website, designed to give the best browsing experience for their size of screen.
Applications and personalisation
The website integrates with the college's Management Information System (MIS), allowing users to add courses to their basket and continue to apply online.
We also developed a feature where users can create their own personalised prospectus from the selection of courses in their basket. This gives prospective students a tailored prospectus, focused on their interests, whilst giving the marketing department vital contact details of interested students.
What we did
- User experience
- User interface design
- Usability testing
- Digital strategy
- Information architecture
- Visual design
- Responsive design
- Website development
- Statistical analysis