Digital Marketing & Communications

We've seen 1s and 0s you wouldn't believe

Topic: International

Worldwide: the journey so far

📥  International

Shipping the third edition

Before the Christmas holiday, we launched the latest edition of Worldwide: the end-of-year review. It was the time of the year to look in the rearview mirror and celebrate what Bath has achieved throughout 2016.

The Collection page curates 11 stories covering Bath's achievements in research, student experience and sports, including groundbreaking research projects, Bath athletes' participation at Rio Olympics, how students have fulfilled their dreams, and the celebrations of our 50th Anniversary.

After the launch, we promoted the page and individual stories over the 12 days of Christmas on the University's social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Sina Weibo.

Looking back on the previous editions

Worldwide was born on 3 May 2016 when we launched the very first edition: the South Africa takeover.

The page aggregated content items to showcase Bath’s activities and impact in South Africa. The goal was to send clear messages about how our work in South Africa provided solutions to global environmental and social challenges, empowered future higher education leaders and developed top athletes of tomorrow.

Since this was the first time we have experimented to present the University's internationalisation on the website in this particular way, there was so much to learn throughout the entire production process, from content creation to curation.

Three months later, on 5 August when the Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony took place, we launched the second edition covering the Rio Olympics and Brazil takeover.

For this double-themed issue, we highlighted our Olympic hopefuls and demonstrated how the University was working with Brazilian partners to tackle environmental issues, understand the country's corporate governance reform, and strengthen links with industry.

This time, I worked with a wider range of sectors across the campus and produced a larger quantity of content. We also learned from the previous experience and iterated along the way to make the production process more efficient.

Adding a personal touch to the journey

Having been involved in every stage of the production process, I always feel bonded to Worldwide. Now I have to temporarily say goodbye to it as I'm expecting a new addition to my family.

There is no better way than to release a review version before I wrap it up and start my maternity leave.

A big thank you to all the colleagues I've worked with for making this happen. It's been such a pleasure.

I can't wait to deliver other exciting editions in the near future.

 

Rio Olympics and Brazil takeover of Worldwide and its performance

📥  Blogs, Digital strategy, International

In May 2016, we launched the very first edition of Worldwide – the South Africa takeover. A few months later, we launched its second edition to focus on the Rio Olympics and Brazil.

The goal of this takeover was to highlight our Olympic hopefuls and showcase how the University is working with Brazilian partners to tackle environmental issues, understand the country's corporate governance reform, and strengthen links with industry.

We worked with all faculties and two research centres across the University and produced five Olympics stories, six research case studies and three student case studies.

Overall performance

During the period 5 August to 21 September 2016, the Worldwide Collection page gained 1,550 pageviews. The data shows:

  • 80.7% of total page views came from outside the UK
  • 4.8% of total page views came from Brazil
  • 44.2% of traffic explored additional content
  • over half (63.2%) of the page views came from the University homepage and internal staff homepage

Social referral traffic

We also carried out a 26-day period of promoting the Worldwide Collection page and curated stories on the University’s social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Our goal was to understand how well the Worldwide Collection page performed when it was shared across different social media channels using different tactics.

One of the lessons we learnt from the previous takeover was that targeting regions is less effective than targeting users’ industries or interests. As a result, we sent out each post twice, once to all followers, and the other time targeting specific industries or user interests of the followers. We then compared both methods to see which one brought more referral traffic.

We’ve discovered that:

  • messages not targeting any specific audience groups referred about four times more traffic than messages targeting specific users
  • the average session duration for all social media referrals was 2 minutes and 12 seconds, suggesting that users are likely to have read the full story
  • targeted posts on LinkedIn led to better user engagement with the content, compared to other social media channels
  • the content items that received most social media referrals were the Olympic athlete stories and student case studies
  • the most-consumed content items from social media referral were research stories

How we can do better in future

We learn as we go.

For this edition, the data proves that although we received more traffic from non-targeted messaging from social media, targeting clearly-defined users with valuable, relevant and consistent content resulted in better user engagement. This is definitely one of the lessons we should take forward when creating and sharing content with our users in future.

There are always things we can learn and improve throughout the process. For the next edition, we will look at how we produce the content, including identifying stories, interviewing, storytelling, and quality control.

 

New induction pages improve user experience

📥  Beta, International, Social media, Style, content and design

We’re working with colleagues across the University to make things better for our students online and to make it easier for staff to support students.

It’s been just over a month since we launched three new induction collections to help our new students settle into life at university: one for undergraduate students, one for taught postgraduate students and one for postgraduate research students. It is the first time we have created a specific area on the site for postgraduate research student induction.

Although it's still early days, we decided to look at the performance of the new pages we created for induction and compare it with the old content for the same period from last year.

A single source of truth

Our legacy content is often duplicated across various sections of the site. With so many variations of the same information, it's difficult to keep track of updates. There is often no single source of truth, which can lead to confusing user journeys.

Collections are pages of curated content from across different sections of the University website about a specific subject.

Our induction collections allow editors to feature specific information mapped against the student user journey, making sure that information is timely and relevant for the stage of the journey they are at.

It also means we can reuse relevant content rather than duplicate it, thanks to our new ‘labels’ functionality.

By transitioning our induction content, we have been able to retire 277 pages while creating only 89 new pages.

In addition to the content we’ve created, we’re using labels to pull in existing information from other sections of the site, like Accommodation and Student Services. At the moment, we have 146 pages labelled with ‘induction’.

Better user experience

All content we write is now based on users’ needs. We also make sure it’s written in plain English with an active voice.

This makes the content easier to find, and when users find it, they are able to complete their tasks more quickly.

Higher user engagement

We looked at pages where there was an equivalent page in last year’s induction content so that we could make comparisons on performance.

We chose:

Registering with the University

We found that 85.9% of users who landed on this page took the call to action, which was to actually register using our service page.

From the service page, we saw a 85.5% drop off. Although this is a large percentage, this is actually an expected behaviour at that particular stage of the user journey. This is because students were looking at the information before registration officially opened. The performance data suggests that we still have work to do to improve the student experience.

During the time period we checked, 8,283 users visited the new guide to register. Last year, the corresponding page had 4,600 users over the same period.

The higher number suggests that returning students are finding and using the page too.

In both years, Google was the biggest referrer to the registration page. This year, 41.5% visits came from Google – last year, this was 37.6%. This data supports our our previous findings that most users find the relevant content through search engines, not by using in-site navigation.

Moving into campus accommodation for the first time

The new page had a significantly lower bounce rate (50.2%) than the old one (69.3%), suggesting that people find the content more relevant.

Last year, 86% users dropped off after visiting the equivalent page. This year, 48.5% of the users who visited the new page continued onto other content which we had mapped as the next steps of their journey. This is an improvement on last year, but we clearly have more work to do to improve this journey.

Book a place on our coach collection service from Heathrow Airport

This year, we took a slightly different approach with the page for booking airport collection.

We created a simple, plain English video, translated it in Chinese and posted it on Sina Weibo. It had 3,200 views and as a result we have had more visitors to the page and more engagement with the content than ever before.

The new page had 1,109 unique visitors this year, which is 11 times more visits than the equivalent page got last year. That’s a huge increase for a single piece of content and confirms that we are creating content that better meets our users’ needs.

It’s also worth noting that over one-third of the users who visited the page went onto the next steps we had planned for them as part of the journey. We are now thinking more about user journeys than ever before, so we're able to make better connections between pieces of content and actions that need to be taken.

On the right track

Anecdotal evidence from colleagues so far tells us that there are already fewer misdirected enquiries about registration and accommodation. The new design of the website clearly shows contact details and people are finding it easier to reach the right service to get the help or information they need.

We’re happy to have seen an improvement in performance for this year’s induction information, but we haven’t finished yet. We’ll keep monitoring how the new content performs over the next couple of months to see how we can improve newly-arriving students’ experience as they continue to go through their induction journey.

 

Launching Worldwide

📥  Development, International

We have recently launched Worldwide on bath.ac.uk.

It is a new central hub to curate international content across the website and will focus on a specific country or region. This is to support the implementation of the University’s International Strategy.

For the first edition, the page aggregates relevant content items to showcase the University’s activities and impact in South Africa. The goal is to send out clear messages about how our work in South Africa provides solutions to global environmental and social challenges, empowers future higher education leaders and develops top athletes of tomorrow.

First of its kind

This is the first time we have experimented to present the University's internationalisation by:

  • featuring stories with a content marketing approach, focusing on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to target clearly-defined users
  • using featured content to showcase the University's impact in various fields - from research to student experience to sports
  • producing content on the University’s overseas activities with coordination between faculties and professional services
  • using the Collection content type in the new CMS to curate content items
  • intensively promoting content on social media targeting specific user groups during the post-launch period

We learn as we go

There has been so much to learn throughout the entire process of delivering Worldwide, from content creation to curation. We will continue working in an agile way and embracing a culture of constantly learning and iterating through each round of producing Worldwide.

Building Bath’s digital presence on Chinese social media

📥  International, Social media

There is a whole other social media world out there beyond Facebook and Twitter that the University of Bath can be part of. Sina Weibo is the first non-English social media site on which the University has established an official account. We are looking to source a wide range of content from faculties, departments and services across the campus.

Weibo, meaning microblog in Chinese, is one of the most popular social media channels in China, with over 30% of its internet users actively using this platform.

Like Twitter, Weibo has a 140-character limit. Over the years, Weibo has gradually become a mix of Twitter and Facebook for features. Users can upload images and videos, insert hashtags, emoticons, music and videos in posts, as well as retweet and comment on others’ posts.

Weibo has a reward system that encourages users to spend more time on the site. Users can receive virtual medals and gain popularity for actively engaging with users.

Launching University of Bath's Weibo account

We launched the University’s official Weibo account on 3 June 2015. Our aim is to support the University’s reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence amongst Chinese-speaking audiences.

University of Bath Weibo screenshot

University of Bath Weibo

Following the launch, we have carried out the following steps:

  1. Verification - we have had our account verified, so there is now a blue ‘V’ sign appearing next to our Weibo logo. This means all the users will be able to tell that our account is genuine and official.
  2. Design - we have ‘decorated’ our timeline page following our brand guidelines, including the choice of logo, background color and images.

Publishing on average 2 posts per day, we have over 800 followers to date, the majority of whom are Chinese prospective students.  As Digital Editor for Internationalisation, my responsibility is to oversee the account on a day-to-day basis and develop a content strategy tailored to different periods of the academic cycle.

Engaging with Chinese users

Weibo offers us a unique channel to interact with our Chinese prospective students..

Over the busy Student Induction period, I worked closely with the International Student Advice Team in Student Services and had assistance from a Chinese postgraduate student to post daily messages with the goal of helping Chinese new students prepare for their travel to the UK and transition to a new life at Bath.

With Induction related messages, we have created hashtags, such as 'University of Bath tips' to group relevant posts and make it easy for users to search and save to read later. We've also conducted a series of interviews with current students and published ‘long weibo’ posts as case studies. These posts have proved popular and generated a lot of appreciative comments.

We will develop more diverse ways to engage with our followers ahead of the next Induction periods. For instance, we can organise online events, such as live Q&As to answer student enquiries.

What’s next?

Projecting the University overseas is one of the core priorities of our International Strategy and projects like the one we have begun on Weibo are squarely aimed at supporting that strategic goal.

We are very excited by the potential of Weibo for raising Bath's profile in China and with Chinese audience internationally. Feeback has so far been positive. It is important to continue improving our engagement with prospective students while also raising our visibility with a wider range of Chinese audiences, including current students and alumni.

To achieve this, we need to collaborate with faculties, departments and services across campus to draw in a richer range of content. Over the coming weeks I will be in touch with a number of teams, but you can also contact me via web-support@bath.ac.uk.

 

Day 4 at Harvard: We need to rethink teaching and learning in the digital age

  , , , ,

📥  Digital strategy, International

During the past three years, Harvard has made university-wide effort to combine technology into education.

My visit to HarvardX is an incredibly eye-opening experience. Michael Rutter, Director of Communications, and Meghan Morrissey, Senior Project Lead at HarvardX, give me a tour around the office while we discuss what learning really is in the digital world.

HarvardX

HarvardX

Consisting of three teams - video, project management and research - HarvardX has its own studios to maintain the highest standards of quality when producing their online courses.

The HarvardX video team

The HarvardX video team

HarvardX studio

HarvardX studio

HarvardX studio

HarvardX studio

No longer classroom learning vs. online learning - it’s one

"We do teaching and learning, using technology." This is how Michael defines HarvardX in the simplest way.

He points out that distant learning can date back decades, but the setting is much more competitive now. A lot has changed with technology as well as the social landscape in the past years.

"The timing is related to the rise of social media, connection and scalability of the Cloud. The MOOC cannot exist without all of this. Interactive components and social forums have made the teaching and learning so much more dynamic," Michael says.

"So we don't see a line between what is in the classroom and what is online. There is only one thing. This is what Harvard does in the digital age and how we are modernising the way we teach and how people learn."

He also gives me an example.

"The School of Public Health has been working with us for two years. The problem with public health is, there are a lot of doctors in the field who cannot take two years off and study on campus. The School created a Masters programme with the majority of courses online. That means you still get high-contact experience with the Faculty and the best course content online.”

Internationalisation with digital learning

Is HarvardX part of Harvard’s digital strategy or international strategy?

"It’s both," says Michael. "It's about expanding our global footprint and having the sense that we have to be involved as an institution. It's not just a global marketing regime. It's also about Harvard leading in teaching and learning.

"We have to be mindful that not all learners can come to the campus. They grow up in the age of Google and search for everything. Their expectation of what learning means is very different from what we thought it would be. They want to learn anytime, anywhere.

"This is how we react to learners’ expectations about how and where learning happens. This is the way Harvard engages with the world."

Unlocking the past of the world’s most populous nation

ChinaX is a HarvardX course that lasts for 18 months. It started in October 2013 and is organised in 10 mini courses than span over 6,000 years in history. Delivering a mix of history, politics and philosophy, the course helps learners access the world’s most populous nation.

It also makes use of the most popular Chinese social media platforms, such as Weibo and Youku, to generate interest, discussion and create a community for learners.

ChinaX

ChinaX

"This is a knowledge discovery and exploration experience," says Meghan, who is part of the project management team and has been heavily involved in the structural design of the course.

"This is an output of teacher-student collaboration. The origin of the course dates back to the Chinese History 185 seminar, taught by Professor Peter Bol, the Vice Provost of Advances in Learning, and Charles H. Carswell, Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.

Professor Bol co-teaches with Professor William Kirby, Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies, and they have both contributed their life-long knowledge and experience in this field to the ChinaX course."

Driving digital learning as a world-class institution

What makes Harvard want to be part of the digital learning landscape?

"We have to be here. We have to invest in this. We have to push boundaries," Michael says. "There has been a high demand at Harvard for digital technologies to be integrated into classroom. Luckily this is a presidential priority. It's comes from top down. We have heavy institutional support."

How can learners benefit from it in terms of employment?

"Due to the system of micro credentials, you have a much more tailored and customised experience. It makes you rethink what a professional credential looks like," Michael explains.

Employers, such as Google and IBM, work with online course providers to design training they require.

"Online learning gives you tools to measure a very specific subject or skill you have learned."

Where is HarvardX heading to?

"Currently we see it as an experimental experience. In future, we hope to be even more collaborative, not just for learners, but also for professionals and scholars," Meghan says.

 

Day 3 at Harvard: Storytelling in the digital world

  , , , , ,

📥  Communication, Digital strategy, International

As a subscriber to Harvard Gazette's daily email newsletter, I am constantly impressed by how the stories are told and the stunning photos that are worth 'a thousand words'. The quality of content on the website has been inspirational to me and my work at Bath's Digital team.

As the official news voice of Harvard for over a century, Harvard Gazette highlights innovation and discovery in teaching, learning and research across the campus.

Today I have the opportunity to learn first-hand knowledge and experience from the Harvard Gazette's Managing Editor, Terry Murphy; Jim Concannon, the Gazette's News Editor; and Mike Petroff, Associate Director of Digital Content Strategy. The word 'storytelling' has been frequently mentioned and discussed throughout our conversations.

The Harvard Gazette office

The Harvard Gazette office

“Storytelling is huge!”

Having spent 28 years at Boston Globe and 5 years so far at Harvard Gazette, Jim is definitely one of the best people to talk about storytelling.

Gazette holds weekly editorial meetings with the faculties, bringing discussions into early conversations about whether this is a good story or how to structure it to make it a good story.

What makes a good story? I am curious.

"Each individual story stands on its own." Jim gives me an example of a recent story on Gazette, How coffee loves us back. It has made connection to the National Coffee Day in the USA on 29 September and gathers all the research done by Harvard University on coffee. It has also gone viral on social media.

A piece of advice comes from Terry: "Always add the human elements into a story. People care about people. That's how the story captures the attention from your readers."

Another great tip Jim has offered me is: "Slow down and think how to tell the story better. Make the time for discussion. Every subject can be interesting, as long as you ask enough questions."

“If you build it, he will come”

Harvard Gazette's primary subscribers are the Harvard community, consisting of students, parents, faculties and alumni. But does Gazette write specifically for international audiences? Jim’s answer is straightforward: "Telling a story is our first priority. Just like the movie Field of Dreams's line - 'If you build it, he will come.'"

The marriage of news and digital

Harvard Gazette website was redesigned and relaunched in 2013. Since then, the multimedia storytelling has really taken off.

The change of audience behaviour due to mobile and social was the main driving force. More and more users read stories on different sizes of screens and through multiple channels. Instead of landing on the Gazette website as the first point, they are often driven by the daily e-newsletter and social media.

Gazette's stories have also received incredible attention from external media that re-create stories and publish them on their own sites.

Terry and Mike's teams work very closely together when it comes to reusing content on multiple digital channels. The Gazette writers and editors create high-quality and shareable stories; the Digital team finds the relevance to popular conversations online and leverages it across social channels. Mike also constantly monitors the analytics of where the stories are travelling to, as well as how much attention they have received, and feeds back to the editorial team.

"Another way of managing content effectively is to use a strong editorial calendar," Mike suggests. "Not simply to schedule when a tweet needs to go out, but a general temperature check of what is discussed around the world on social. We constantly ask ourselves: Do we have content to make a connection to a topic?"

Tell a good story, find the relevance and share it with digital tools. That's one of the most valuable lessons I've taken away from Harvard Gazette today.

 

Day 2 at Harvard: How Harvard Business School creates its unique brand experience

  , , , ,

📥  Digital strategy, International

Walking across the Charles River from Cambridge on a sunny autumn day is definitely a treat. At the end of the bridge is Harvard Business School where I'm meeting Brian Kenny, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at HBS.

My meeting is at the Cotting House, a beautiful three-story Georgian Revival style house named after Boston investment banker and philanthropist Charles E. Cotting (1889-1985).

Charles River

Charles River

Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School

Baker Library

Baker Library

Cotting House

Cotting House

The HBS Marketing and Communications team consists of 15 people including professionals focusing on areas such as public relations, social media, web, digital, marketing and brand creation. Their goal is to shape messages, embed brand strategy and eventually change the perceptions of HBS.

The brand strategy for a mission-driven institution 

HBS's mission statement for all of its staff is very bold and clear: we educate leaders to make a difference in the world. It's also about providing a transformational experience to the students, to gain an experience they don't have before joining HBS.

The brand strategy has been embedded throughout the entire student journey: from being a prospective student to an alumnus; from classroom learning and building relationships to giving back.

How to make students and alumni proud of HBS? "Constant communication and keep enforcing it," Brian says.

Content strategy shift and challenges

HBS used to aggregate articles from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal that were talking about the School. This was going on until a few years ago when the School decided to make their own, unique voice by creating organic content and embedding external articles in their own stories.

"It is very important to connect your content to what's happening in the world," says Brian. However, this also poses a challenge: how to work with the faculty to tie their specific research to the global affairs?

HBS goes global with a region-specific strategy

The content Brian's team creates is global in nature. But HBS still has its regional strategy. They have research centres and classrooms in nine countries across Europe and Asia with India being one of the largest markets. HBS regularly contributes articles to one of India's biggest business newspapers, Mint. HBS also has a Sina Weibo account for its executive programmes in China.

Using social media to change perceptions

With over 100 years of history, Harvard Business School wants to be perceived as an innovative and friendly institution by the outside world. Social media has been an important tool in making this happen. The social channels HBS subscribes to help create the voice for both students and faculty with a warm, welcoming and humorous tone. "They definitely have sparked conversations about us!" Brian smiles.

One more piece of advice? "The story is the end product," Brian says. "Bear this in mind, no matter if you are a content creator, a designer or a web developer - we are all telling stories in the end. That's how we work together as a team."

More storytelling discussion with the Harvard Gazette team to come.  Stay tuned.

 

Day 1 at Harvard: It's all about collaboration

  , ,

📥  Digital strategy, International

Harvard University has established the best practices for content, multimedia and social. I'm visiting Harvard to learn how the team develops and delivers a comprehensive strategy for digital communications and engagement.

I kicked off my one-week long trip to Harvard by having meetings with Perry Hewitt, the Chief Digital Officer, and Benjamin Sharbaugh, Associate Director of Digital Strategy.

Our meetings were at Harvard’s Smith Campus Center (formerly Holyoke Center), located next to the Harvard Square Station on MBTA Red Line and directly opposite the Wadsworth Gate to Harvard Yard.

The Office of Digital Strategy, as part of the Harvard Public Affairs and communications, is on the 10th Floor. From the balcony, you can get a panoramic view of the stunning campus.

A panoramic view of Harvard University

A panoramic view of Harvard University

Harvard Public Affairs & Communications

Harvard Public Affairs & Communications

If I had to only pick one thing I’ve learned from my first day at Harvard, that would be collaboration. It’s all about creating a community and atmosphere for collaboration.

The team

First of all, how is the Harvard Digital team formed? Perry's definition of a high performing digital team published on Harvard Business Review gives a comprehensive overview of what the team does:

Digital teams are responsible for developing, testing, and implementing a strategy to reach and engage target audiences through digital channels like web, mobile, and social. While other groups may draft the messaging, a digital team works hand-in-hand with marketing and product leaders to curate and create digital-first content strategy. Most often reporting through the CEO or CMO, digital teams may also be responsible for implementing cross-channel analytics, surfacing relevant emerging trends, and providing comprehensive guidelines. As institutions have weathered the seismic communications shift from managed brand broadcast to real-time community interaction, digital teams have stepped in to manage listening platforms and identify opportunities for engagement. Finally a successful digital team will build a strong partnership with IT, who owns critical technology infrastructure and associated services.

Harvard identity guidelines and decentralised publishing

"At Harvard, we are big believers of guidelines and put a lot of effort into developing them," Perry said.

"We are in charge of branding by producing guidelines for website, storytelling,  social media, images, colour, fonts, etc. We make them easy to follow and don't provide any classroom training. We don't police the schools in terms of how the guidelines have been followed when creating content.  The schools have their own autonomy and authority to decide what they want to do digitally and how to do it. So as the central team, we have very little control of it. We are so decentralised, and sometimes I wanted it to be more centralised. The grass is always greener on the other side," Ben laughed.

Harvard’s show, but not tell

Harvard’s central digital team started collaborating with schools 5 years ago. "We create a community to share and encourage digital understanding, as well as celebrating good work," Perry said.

Harvard digital has its own 'Show & Tell'. The Digital Roundup is a monthly newsletter produced by the Office of Digital Strategy to share the latest digital news among Harvard staff to exchange ideas, share interesting article, tips, statistics and learn from industry experts about how to make digital work easier and more interesting.

This is also followed by a monthly meet-up - The Digital Roundup Live presents digital content, projects, and knowledge from around Harvard University.

Academy is another free event to encourage sharing the best practice of digital work from around Harvard. Each Academy has a theme; the next one in October is Multimedia Academy. The tickets ran out within hours of the date being released.

We don’t create content, we aggregate it

It’s not about ownership. It’s about how to aggregate the voices.

Social media has been a big driver to harvard.edu. This is all about the balance between influence and control. "We don’t give one definite version of Harvard. We create sharable content, aggregate content from all over the university and syndicate it out through our multiple digital platforms. It’s about user experience from all the channels we output."

Social tools help content to be captured, categorised and shared to make a great impact and a ‘Harvard experience’.

Change management

So how do you get people to get on the bus for change? This is the question I most want to ask Perry and Ben. "This is really hard!" both told me.

Perry's tip for managing the change is: being an early adaptor is the key. "Work transparent, make people understand their role of the change and bring them at much earlier conversations. This is because people want to be part of a winning effort, to be in the right direction.

"We make so much effort into back-end development to make it easy, interesting to use and to make work look good from the front end. For example, harvard.edu," Perry explained.

Next week, I'll be meeting the Harvard Business School's content team and learn how they manage their own site and collaborate with the Digital Strategy team. There will be more to share shortly.

 

Improving the international country pages

📥  International, Style, content and design

We provide international applicants with specific information on entry requirements, funding and scholarships, university services for international students, how to contact an agent and forthcoming visits. All of this information is on our country pages.

As part of the development of the Beta site and the University's new International Strategy, we aim to improve the international content across the website. In June, we performed an audit of 51 country pages and discovered that:

  • content did not address specific user needs
  • there was duplicated information that also appeared in the prospectus
  • user journeys were fragmented making it difficult for applicants to find information
  • the layout of the information was not consistent.

As a result, we have made the following immediate improvements:

  • created tailored content to meet specific user needs for each country
  • removed duplicated content
  • updated the entry requirements, scholarships, agents and forthcoming visits information
  • re-ordered and re-named the tabs to improve user journeys.

For the next step, we will continue to monitor the external traffic to these pages and make iterative improvements based on the data.