Degree apprenticeship website

Degree apprenticeships website

Degree apprenticeships are a competitive market, Teesside University is looking to increase its market share. The degree apprenticeships offer is complex with multiple stages in the application process. The objective of this project was to increase applications and interest through the website. The previous website was three pages, featured mainly textual content and failed to attract people to the University.

Timeframe: 3 months

Role: Project lead

RESEARCH

Remote user testing

Remote user testing was set up when the current website was launched. Sessions and heatmaps were analysed to understand how people are currently interacting with the website and highlight any usability issues. The scroll maps showed people weren't scrolling, which meant information at the bottom of the pages was not being seen.

User testing scroll depth

A scroll map, highlighting users aren't scrolling.

RESEARCH

SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis was used to evaluate the current state of the degree apprenticeships website. The SWOT analysis findings are derived from a combination of analytics, remote user testing and the competitor analysis.

Key findings

  • A high number of visitors to the website, but they're leaving without interacting
  • The current 'grow your own' branding is being ignored
  • Course information isn't displayed consistently, it differs according to the subject area
SWOT analysis of the degree apprenticeships website

SWOT analysis key findings.

RESEARCH

Persona development

Two personas were created to represent the target user groups, those two groups are potential apprentices looking for an opportunity and employers looking to advertise a vacancy or upskill their workforce. The personas were printed out and put on the walls of the office so they were visible to the project team, the use of personas provided a focus for the project and allowed decisions to be considered against the needs of the intended users.

Persona Jenifer Hird Student

One of two personas, created to focus the team on real-user needs.

DESIGN

Sitemap

The previous website was three pages, each page required a large amount of scrolling before reaching the bottom of the page. Research showed that users aren't scrolling. The information architecture is now organised into more pages, each serving a single purpose and reducing the amount of scroll.

New website sitemap

The new proposed sitemap.

PROTOTYPING

Wireframing

High fidelity wireframes were created using a mobile-first approach, drawing insight from the research earlier in the project. Considering the smaller screen sizes first made it easier to prioritise the content, prevented unnecessary elements being included in the design and made it easier to align with the competitors, who have opted for a minimalist design.

High fidelity wireframe of the new website

High-fidelity desktop and mobile wireframes.

Development and launch

After the designs were signed off, development began. I created the pages and added in the content provided by the marketing team. The site was constructed over three weeks and tested throughout for usability and functionality.

Overall the project was challenging, working with senior stakeholders across the university, each with their objectives and agendas. A thorough research process helped to reduce internal politics and informed project decisions, alleviating personal opinions and assumptions.

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