case study

Norwich University Online

Website built based on learnings from user experience testing shows immediate positive results for university's online education program.
  • a person icon with three stars underneath
  • an award ribbon
  • a pencil and ruler drawn on a web browser window
  • a pencil and a piece of paper
  • A magnifying glass icon

Challenge

Norwich University Online website before redesign

Norwich University’s online graduate school sought to expand their audience and appeal outside of the military and government agencies, increase brand awareness, and grow online enrollments. In addition, they wanted a more flexible and easy-to-use content management system.

Project goals:

  • Improve Norwich’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies brand and image through a more contemporary visual design.
  • Support marketing efforts from Norwich’s academic marketing partner, Embanet Compass Knowledge Group, and increase lead conversions though a unified visitor experience across the site and landing pages.
  • Implement content management system that supports the needs of non-technical content editors.

Solution

  • Norwich University Online Website on Mobile
  • Norwich University Online Website Homepage
  • Norwich University Online Website on Laptop

To create the ideal website for Norwich’s online graduate school, we conducted a comprehensive branding study and in-depth audience research, the findings of which informed the site architecture, visual design, and content creation process.

  • Audience Research – Conduct focus groups to understand the unique decision making process for Norwich’s prospective students and how the school’s military heritage is perceived amongst that group.
  • Website Design – Develop new site architecture, visual design, and content that honors the University’s 200-year history and reflects its cutting-edge programs.
  • Calls-to-Action – Incorporate actions buttons into the main navigation and in contextual locations across the site to allow prospects to engage with a clear point of contact through chat, phone, or e-mail.
  • Site Content – Create in-depth program description pages with pertinent course details, demonstrate the quality of faculty with engaging videos that highlight the high number of faculty with terminal degrees, and communicate the return on educational investment for students through alumni results shown in new “Norwich Impact” section.

Launch: November 2012

Results

3x

increase in degree completion inquiries

25%

increase in website visits

88%

increase in form completions on mobile devices

In all phases, whether research and discovery, branding and positioning, design and messaging, or development and launch, OHO exceeded our expectations. They gave us a strong web presence that has greatly improved our admissions, recruitment, and marketing efforts and enables us to stand out among our peer institutions in the online education industry.

Sarah Gagne
Web Manager
Norwich University Online

After an incredibly positive internal response to the new website, the improvement in key performance metrics was immediate. Within two months of launching, the new site generated:

  • Over 300 requests for information submissions
  • An average visit time of 4:04 minutes (about double the industry standard)
  • A very low bounce rate of 34.5%
  • The recruitment team has seen a significant bump in recruitment inquiries and has leveraged the new brand assets across the lead generation properties.

Further Reading

  • Cambridge College

    User research and testing drives website redesign resulting in digital unification of multiple campuses and an increase in online applications.

  • Northeastern University School of Law

    Integrated marketing strategy for higher ed incorporates digital, print, and multimedia to demonstrate positive student outcomes and increase enrollments.

  • Uncommon Schools

    Award-winning website redesign built in a multi-site environment communicates new visual identity across main site and 18 regional schools.