Awards and acknowledgments on the homepage
Following the great news that we have been named the University of the Year for Student Experience of The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020, we have updated the homepage to highlight some of our most notable awards and accolades which help demonstrate that we are a fantastic choice for students.
Next change to course pages
We will be adding awards and accolades to our course pages shortly.
We’re adding a new section on every course page that will display awards and recognition, including:
- TEF Gold
- University of the Year for Student Experience
- National Student Survey Ranking (4th in UK)
Awarding of prizes and awards
This new section is positioned so that it is visible to visitors but does not interrupt the progress of their journey towards completing their task. It is important to understand that every user of our site has a task to complete. They are visiting us for a reason.
Our search for main tasks identified key tasks related to course pages. This research (along with design sprints done with students and school visits to get input from prospective students) informed the content of the course page and how we presented it. The following businesses were in the top ten for applicants for what they want from our website as a whole:
- Check the admission requirements for a course
- Look at the modules of a course and how they are taught and assessed
- Find out what happens after I apply
- Find out the deadlines for enrollment in the courses
- See examples of student work for a specific course
That’s five things in the top ten that are specific to course pages from hundreds of things candidates say they want from our website. These depend on us getting the right course pages for our potential visitors and candidates.
And to get it right, we’ve added clear, simple, and obvious navigation to important content like entry requirements and how to apply.
We then present that content in a clear and simple format, using typography, color and icons in the right way to enhance the experience. For example, we use background colors to highlight key information:
Stay focused on the user
Our new approach to content and design focuses on helping our visitors get things done. We aim to deliver useful content that delivers what they need fast and with minimal distraction.
Research suggests that design elements, images, and logos for awards or recognitions aren’t typically a specific reason for someone to visit. Instead, they make up the background of their experience. They are seen more subconsciously than consciously as the visitor focuses on completing their task. Forcing these background elements into a visitor’s consciousness could interrupt their journey, frustrate them and ultimately lead them to leave our site without completing their task. For example, adding an award logo to the top of the page would push important content and navigation further down the page, especially on mobile.
If a visitor leaves our site feeling satisfied and not frustrated, this is good for our reputation (a key measure of our success). In terms of the potential student visiting a course page, we absolutely want to avoid any feeling of frustration during such an important user journey.
Considering the fact that millions of people view our course pages every year, we expect this activity-based approach to have a very positive impact. We’re continuing to test with our audience, measuring the impact of our content and designs, and making improvements based on what we discover.