#makeitawesome: Roger Williams University School of Continuing Studies Launches New Website

April 07, 2016

Congratulations to the Roger Williams University School of Continuing Studies on the launch of their new website!

Designed to help students who are looking to advance their careers or those who are trying to determine the right career, the School of Continuing Studies (SCS) at Roger Williams University wanted to redesign their website as part of a bigger marketing and recruitment effort.

The goals for the website redesign project included:

  • Elevating the profile of the School of Continuing Studies
  • Communicating SCS as an option for prospects who want the prestige of degree from Roger Williams University in an alternative setting to a 4-year program
  • Refining the school’s marketing and recruitment strategy
  • Upgrading the website technology

To ensure the success of the site redesign, we started the project by conducting surveys to identify the school’s user segments, ran focus groups with current students to learn about their perceptions of the school, and mapped the student journey to understand the motivating factors for choosing the School of Continuing Studies.

Research showed the School’s website, which had been housed under the main University site, would fare much better as a stand-alone entity and be key to addressing the goal of elevating the school’s profile. Half of the users we tested were unable to find the school on the main website and inbound pathways were not driving prospective students there either. As we began mapping the new stand-alone site, the release of Drupal 8 steered the decision to build the content management system with this latest upgrade.

As the site’s information architecture took shape, a program finder feature became an important component. Research findings showed that prospective students wanted to have a way to segment the school’s offerings by field, and then be presented with all options within that industry. For example, segmenting by Health Care Administration returns program options including certifications in Gerontology and School Nurse Teaching.

The program pages were also transformed into a more robust repository, allowing prospective students to do “one-stop shopping” on the page, from researching a program to gathering information and applying.

When it came to the website’s visual design, featuring images of real people doing real jobs was very important to site visitors. Rather than showing photos of the campus or even stock photos of people working in their fields, prospective students want to see imagery that illustrates real world outcomes.

We’re so happy to have worked with the SCS team on their website redesign. Check out their new site now.

RWU SCS

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