A new digital strategy transforms the student experience at a UK university

A new digital strategy transforms the student experience at a UK university

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Our client is a forward-thinking city-based university with an ambition to better meet the digital needs of contemporary students.

Students had high digital expectations

Universities are under pressure to provide a digital service that matches the expectations of young people accustomed to live streams, responsive technologies and instant access to resources. A university commissioned Nous to define the requirements for a digital platform to meet these expectations.

We captured students’ needs through human-centred design and data analysis

Nous used human-centred design and rich data analysis to understand how students navigated the university’s existing digital infrastructure, then co-designed a new digital platform.

First, we conducted qualitative and quantitative analysis to understand students’ needs, wants and feature usage. This involved:

  1. mapping the current digital environment to identify systems, service integration requirements, functionality duplication and service gaps
  2. analysing usage patterns across multiple platforms and systems, including the student app, student information system, website, virtual learning environment and lecture capture platform.

Then in an extensive co-design process, we engaged students, academics and professional services staff to detail requirements for a new digital platform. This involved:

  1. mapping the whole student experience, identifying the events and interactions that contribute to student experience
  2. helping students prioritise information and features that matter most to them
  3. turning students’ requirements into wireframe click-through prototypes and asking students to test them, then iterating our designs so the final prototype offered the functionality students want in a format they will use
  4. engaging with leading global platform developers to identify a preferred partner and developing a release schedule.

The university is improving service delivery and reducing costs

The university is now implementing Nous’ proposed best-in-market platform, along with our recommended internal resourcing requirements, change management and accompanying communications. This is improving service delivery and reducing costs.

What you can learn about digital experience

Students’ experience of technology shapes their university experience, so data must be consistent across all platforms and accessible 24/7.

To design for students, you must engage with students.

System integration must be seamless and coordinated by a long-term digital strategy and infrastructure plan.