Case Study

South West
College

a digital strategy that puts
students first

The decisions we make about our education are important, potentially life-changing ones. The last thing we need when we’re making them is confusion, complication and uncertainty. Our work with South West College created an intuitive website that gives an improved and simplified digital experience to its current and future students as they consider their next academic move.

01

Background

South West College serves the communities of Tyrone and Fermanagh, offering further education, higher education and apprenticeship qualifications to some 14,000 students across campuses in Cookstown, Dungannon, Enniskillen and Omagh. Its website is used by those thousands of current students, more than 500 members of full-time and part-time staff and those who are thinking about applying to study at the college.

02

The Brief

We initially won a competitive tender to give ongoing digital support services to South West College for its existing website, including a technical platform migration from a dedicated multi-server hosting environment to a new cloud hosting platform. The brief soon expanded into exploring further opportunities through which we could make using the website easier for students. That included designing and developing a new website, as well as investigating and prioritising any other initiatives that would improve the digital experience for visitors to the South West College website.


03

What We Did

We approached South West College’s expanded brief by following our user experience and design process to get a better idea of what was needed from the website. We wanted to put students and their academic goals at the center of the work we would be undertaking. That meant creating a website that was as easy as possible for them to use and tailored to how they would want to use it.

With a clearer understanding of typical user journeys around the website, we designed front-end prototypes to show the college how the new site would look and work.

This gave the opportunity for further feedback from students and other website users before we built the website and integrated it with the Kentico content management system.

We also conducted research and compiled a report that detailed and prioritised future digital activities that will further increase the effectiveness of the South West College’s online presence.

We worked with the college’s digital team to create a digital marketing roadmap to improve promotion of the diverse curriculum on offer using the Kentico EMS marketing tools


Phone screens showing the mobile experience
04

Results

The new South West College website launched in November 2016 and was well received. Feedback from students is that the site is now easier for them to use than the previous version, which was the main aim of the redesign.

Our work with the college’s digital team on implementation of the digital marketing roadmap is ongoing. We are working together to develop a strategy that will push the college towards its aggressive enrolment targets across all campuses in the coming years.