Stoke on Trent College Website Design

Website design and development that really delivers in terms of user experience and functionality.

The Challenge

Stoke-on-Trent College is a large Further Education provider based in North Staffordshire. They focus on delivering excellence in teaching and learning in mainly vocational courses. Having worked with the College to develop a brand identity of ‘A Real Education’, they came to us when they decided that they needed a website that could really deliver in terms of user experience and functionality. With dozens of years’ experience in website design and development, we were ready for the challenge.

The Solution

Relevant

The main purpose of the website is to recruit students to the College. The main target audience is 16-year old school leavers interested in vocational qualifications. This audience prefer digital media to printed material, and as the main piece of communication with this audience, the College needed to ensure that the website delivered all of the information the students were looking for, in a format that they found easy to access and digest.

Research showed that potential students were often looking for course information, and were visiting the website to ‘shop’ for a course. The old website funnelled users into course sections, and applications for courses had to be made on paper. It was decided to change the fundamental structure of the user experience to more closely mirror eCommerce. Rather than funnel students into subject areas, we designed the website so that there are a number of ways to reach course information, and ensured that search functionality was excellent.

Engaging

In addition to improving the user experience of the website, we added case studies and career path information to each course page. We moved a lot of information that was relevant to college staff, but wasn’t engaging for students, to page footers, devoting more of the page to course detail and supporting information; something which research showed students were looking for.

The design of the website is clean and modern, and purposely doesn’t follow a particular campaign style. By keeping a more neutral design, the website longevity is increased, and campaign banners can be added into relevant spaces as and when appropriate.

Delivery

We worked with the marketing team at the College throughout to ensure that the new website incorporated all they required in terms of content and functionality, but was also easy enough for them to add to as and when required. The website is fully optimised across mobile devices, and is screen responsive.

The Results

The team at Stoke on Trent College are thrilled with the results. Mark Whittaker, Director of Marketing and PR at the College, commented “It’s a very clean design and the home page, with its focus on course search, news stories and current campaigns, keeps what’s important to visitors right in front of them as soon as they reach the site. It’s going to be easy for us to maintain and is flexible to our changing requirements.”

“It’s a very clean design and the home page, with its focus on course search, news stories and current campaigns, keeps what’s important to visitors right in front of them as soon as they reach the site. It’s going to be easy for us to maintain and is flexible to our changing requirements.”

Mark Whittaker
Director of Marketing and PR
Stoke on Trent College

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