Pamela Michael, Head of Digital Media and Marketing at Imperial College London, and I had the privilege of presenting this week at Eduweb 2008 in Atlantic City. It was held at the lovely (cough, cough) Trump Marina Casino.
We shared a case study from the Imperial College London website redesign, including how we researched the needs of various audiences and created mental models that guided our designs.
Some of the key findings from our research included:
Prospective students wished to have a better "sense of place" depicted on the website.
- What does the campus look like?
- What do the residence halls look like?
- What's the area of London like?
- Does the reality match the reputation?
- Users wanted to have an overview of what's going on at the College in one place – an improved events calendar encompassing everything from student events to evening classes.
- Many students told about influential people in their lives who told them about Imperial. Word of mouth is key, even for a world-leading institution.
- Users wanted an easier way to find Imperial staff, not only by name but also by department, role, and most importantly, research area.
- Once they find staff, they want to know a lot more about them – research interests, reputation, etc.