Maximizing a   Brand’s PositioningRe-building the Penn State World Campus Website
Agenda–   Overall goal–   Problem definition–   The process–   Tips for success–   Q&A
Overall GoalGrow World Campus enrollments through the website redesign tomeet the needs of the adult learner
Agenda–   Overall goal–   Problem definition–   The process–   Tips for success–   Q&A
Problem Definition– Branding and Design   •   Most frequently asked question: “Is this the real Penn State?”   •   Lacked ...
Rebuilding the World Campus website  is like rebuilding our campus, except                it’s all online
Agenda– Overall goal– Problem definition– The process– Tips for success– Q&A
The Process: 2 YearsPhase                           Start dateI.    Project scope             July 2009II.   Content and d...
Phase I: Project Scope
Project Scope–   Define the objective:    To optimize conversion and retention to grow World Campus enrollments,    we wil...
Phase II: Content and Design
ContentUSING DATA/TESTING TO INFORM DECISIONS   – Brand research   – Web research   – User survey   – Site search   – Staf...
Content                      GOALS– Reinforce “This is the real Penn State”– Develop rich media and photography– Establish...
Design                         GOALS– Promote a strong, collegiate feel– Appear clean, modern, simple, not trendy   (what ...
Phase III: Market Research
Market ResearchBRAND PERCEPTION AND POSITIONING– Immersive research to understand prospective  audience perceptions and ne...
Phase III: Market Research  Immersive Research
What is Immersive Research?                 An online research                 framework that                 captures con...
Immersive Research Overview–   Online ethnography combined with social    networking technology–   Captures emotions, beha...
Immersive Research Overview      Immersive research is helpful when you need to…–   Gather insight into participants’ perc...
Activity-Based Immersive Research  Question-Based:                        Activity-Based:  What’s in your fridge?     “Ple...
Activity-Based Immersive ResearchCollage                       Ad Testing               “Help Mabel”
Online University Project            23
Traditional/Immersive Research              Comparison          Traditional                                Immersive     (...
Traditional/Immersive Research              Comparison             Traditional                                Immersive   ...
Steps in an Immersive Research Study –   Define the research objectives –   Identify the participants –   Develop activiti...
Online University Project                • To understand prospective students’ perceptions                  and images of ...
Online University Project Behavioral     • How do they compare to your ideal? Exercises Experiential   • Ranking potential...
Online University Project Day 1              Day 3                Day 5                    Day 8Welcome     What’s in a   ...
Research Findings                WHAT WE LEARNED– A competitor’s website was perceived most favorably  by participants  • ...
Research Findings               WHAT WE LEARNED– Penn State World Campus website was viewed as: •   “Boring” •   Crowded; ...
Research Findings       IMMERSIVE RESEARCH IMAGERY                                       “I think there is definitely an  ...
Research Findings             WHAT WE LEARNED– A competitor’s website was also ranked most often as  closest to participan...
Actions TakenThe World Campus…– Completely redesigned all of the website content to speak to  what participants described ...
Phase III: Market Research Brand Imagery Research
Brand Imagery Research              QUESTIONS– A picture is worth a thousand words…   • What do we want to convey in our i...
Brand Imagery Research Findings                            WHAT WE LEARNEDLandmark ImagesLandmark 1: Katz Building    Land...
Brand Imagery Research Findings                                      WHAT WE LEARNEDStudent ImagesStudent 1: Three people ...
Phase IV: Usability Testing
Usability Testing– Large usability test: previous website– Many smaller usability tests:  • Site Wireframes and Mockups: “...
Previous Site Testing       LESSONS FOR THE NEW WEBSITECalls to action should not   Buttons should look like     make you ...
Applying the Findings LESSONS FOR   THE NEW   WEBSITEIf you want people to    do something,don’t be afraid to askthem more...
Redundant Navigation    IT’S A GOOD THING         Saying things twice is         a good idea—especially when         it co...
Site Wireframes and MockupsSMALLER USABILITY TESTING: IT’S BETTER TO TESTGOAL: Get a sense of whether specific design, lay...
Usability Test 1: Header Area Users of Version 1 nearly always completed tasks        twice as fast as users of Version 2
Usability Test 2: Navigation Area       Users of Version 2 completed tasks    roughly twice as fast as users of Version 1
Phase V: Launch and  Measure Results
Before
After:ProspectiveStudents
After: CurrentStudents
After:Mobile Site
Results: MetricsSince launch 8 months ago vs. last year:–   1,600,000 web visits,   +32%–   36,000 Inquiries,   +51%–   4,...
Results: Usability Testing                             % Change       % ChangeTask                        Success Rate   F...
Agenda– Overall goal– Problem definition– The process– Tips for success– Q&A
Tips for success–   A website redesign never really ends…–   Know what you want your brand to stand for and    make sure y...
Tips for success–   Know where your internal expertise is and where    you need to seek external help and budget for it   ...
Agenda– Overall goal– Problem definition– The process– Tips for success– Q&A
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Rebuilding the world_campus_website_campos_incpswc_upcea_march_2012

  1. 1. Maximizing a Brand’s PositioningRe-building the Penn State World Campus Website
  2. 2. Agenda– Overall goal– Problem definition– The process– Tips for success– Q&A
  3. 3. Overall GoalGrow World Campus enrollments through the website redesign tomeet the needs of the adult learner
  4. 4. Agenda– Overall goal– Problem definition– The process– Tips for success– Q&A
  5. 5. Problem Definition– Branding and Design • Most frequently asked question: “Is this the real Penn State?” • Lacked relevant imagery and video content • Content was delivered as the “owner’s manual” instead of the “brochure”– Content and Site Architecture • Site architecture and content grew organically • Lacked consistency • Prospective student and current student content intermixed • Website was not mobile-friendly– Content Management System and Hosting Environment • Content management system was not technically scalable to handle future growth • Coding was not SEO-friendly • No server backup
  6. 6. Rebuilding the World Campus website is like rebuilding our campus, except it’s all online
  7. 7. Agenda– Overall goal– Problem definition– The process– Tips for success– Q&A
  8. 8. The Process: 2 YearsPhase Start dateI. Project scope July 2009II. Content and design March 2010III. Market research May 2010IV. Usability testing May 2010V. Launch and measure results July 2011
  9. 9. Phase I: Project Scope
  10. 10. Project Scope– Define the objective: To optimize conversion and retention to grow World Campus enrollments, we will completely overhaul the website and create a new interface that allows our users to easily find the information they need, when and where they need it, online and/or mobile, with clear calls-to-action • Prospective students • Current students– Determine where we had expertise and where we needed external help in order to accomplish the project– Establish a project manager/project team and develop a communications plan for the many stakeholders involved and for approvals at each stage
  11. 11. Phase II: Content and Design
  12. 12. ContentUSING DATA/TESTING TO INFORM DECISIONS – Brand research – Web research – User survey – Site search – Staff and stakeholder feedback – Knowledge base – Usability testing
  13. 13. Content GOALS– Reinforce “This is the real Penn State”– Develop rich media and photography– Establish information architecture that gives users information when they need it– Follow web writing best practices– Keep content clear and concise– Keep SEO in mind
  14. 14. Design GOALS– Promote a strong, collegiate feel– Appear clean, modern, simple, not trendy (what you’d expect from a high quality online institution)– Use color and imagery synonymous with our brand– Be consistent, intuitive– Follow University visual identity web standards
  15. 15. Phase III: Market Research
  16. 16. Market ResearchBRAND PERCEPTION AND POSITIONING– Immersive research to understand prospective audience perceptions and needs– Brand imagery study to determine how best to connect to the main University while highlighting the advancements in online learning
  17. 17. Phase III: Market Research Immersive Research
  18. 18. What is Immersive Research? An online research framework that captures consumer behaviors, experiences and emotions in context.
  19. 19. Immersive Research Overview– Online ethnography combined with social networking technology– Captures emotions, behaviors, and context to understand experience as it unfolds via text, images and other forms of media– Provides a deep view into participants’ lives by interacting with them over a period of days or weeks– Research activities include a series of assignments that participants complete asynchronously via a secure website– Activities might include uploading digital images or videos that represent a participant’s feelings, perceptions, or experiences, and provide insights about brand, products, services, and/or experience in relevant time
  20. 20. Immersive Research Overview Immersive research is helpful when you need to…– Gather insight into participants’ perceptions of branding, packaging or messaging and impact on stakeholders’ perceptions– Determine how presentation and messaging influence stakeholder perceptions– Identify key differentiators of a brand– Understand needs and priorities of target audience(s) (e.g. students, alumni, faculty, parents, et al.) about curriculum, campus life, student services, etc.– Understand decision making process with regard to school selection, program choice, activities, etc.– Develop clear recommendations that enable your institution to achieve its strategic objectives based on stakeholder input
  21. 21. Activity-Based Immersive Research Question-Based: Activity-Based: What’s in your fridge? “Please take me on a photo tour of your fridge.”  Butter  Cheese  Lettuce  Mustard  Milk  Leftover Spaghetti  Carrots  Orange Juice  Jam
  22. 22. Activity-Based Immersive ResearchCollage Ad Testing “Help Mabel”
  23. 23. Online University Project 23
  24. 24. Traditional/Immersive Research Comparison Traditional Immersive (Focus Groups, IDIs)• In-person (primarily) • Online• Respond to stimuli (videos, • Respond to stimuli (videos, images, storyboards) images, storyboards)• Group dialogue/interaction • Individual and group online• Recall interaction• Group exercises/techniques • “In the Moment”• Verbal responses • Individual activities• Ability to touch/feel/interact with • Media rich uploads/text products
  25. 25. Traditional/Immersive Research Comparison Traditional Immersive (Focus Groups, IDIs)• Requires travel and facility • Laddered approach for learning• 12 active participant research minutes • Removes barriers of time and location per participant • 120 active participant research• Question based minutes/participant – Tell me • Activity based – In person real time – Show me – Ask/probe – Online• Client observation “behind the glass” – Complete activity/probe/do more • Online client observation
  26. 26. Steps in an Immersive Research Study – Define the research objectives – Identify the participants – Develop activities – Program the activities • The first is an easy welcome activity to become comfortable with the tool • Number of activities depend on the length of study and objectives – Invite participants – Launch the study • Activities launch one at a time over the course of the study – Moderate participant responses – Analyze and synthesize data collected – Produce report
  27. 27. Online University Project • To understand prospective students’ perceptions and images of the brand and how they compare toBackground & their needs and priorities • To compare prospective students’ perceptions of Objectives the brand to 3 competitor institutions • To obtain prospective students’ reactions to new strategic brand positioning/messaging/images • Adults between the ages of 24 and 44 • Currently interested in seeking online degreeTarget Market program offerings • Employed full-time • Minimum household income of >$20,000 Duration • 2 weeks
  28. 28. Online University Project Behavioral • How do they compare to your ideal? Exercises Experiential • Ranking potential marketing Exercises messages Projective • What’s in a name? What’s in an image? Exercises • My ideal online university
  29. 29. Online University Project Day 1 Day 3 Day 5 Day 8Welcome What’s in a Name? What’s My Ideal in an Image? Online How Do They University Compare Ranking to Your Ideal? Potential Marketing Messages
  30. 30. Research Findings WHAT WE LEARNED– A competitor’s website was perceived most favorably by participants • Attractive website with good balance of text and images • University appears “proud” of its students • Good amount of courses and programs available • Uses current technology • Information is “straight and to the point” • Communicates adult learning environment From this, participants inferred a positive educational experience vs. Penn State World Campus
  31. 31. Research Findings WHAT WE LEARNED– Penn State World Campus website was viewed as: • “Boring” • Crowded; too much going on • Not as credible • Distracting with too many links and tabs From this, participants inferred a very traditional, dry, “academic” experience; not dynamic
  32. 32. Research Findings IMMERSIVE RESEARCH IMAGERY “I think there is definitely an emphasis on welcoming technology into the classroom. This is important.”“It seems like they think of themselves as an excellentuniversity and they have been around for a long time.” “This website makes me ask myself ‘Where do I go from here?’”
  33. 33. Research Findings WHAT WE LEARNED– A competitor’s website was also ranked most often as closest to participants’ ideal online university– Participants’ reactions to the World Campus’s new marketing messages were highly favorable– Participants were enthusiastic and highly supportive of the World Campus’s efforts to improve their website
  34. 34. Actions TakenThe World Campus…– Completely redesigned all of the website content to speak to what participants described as expectations for ideal online university– Conducted additional research around imagery and brand perception– Created all new imagery and design with rich media to modernize the brand image and allow users to engage more with the brand– Intends to continually review the brand strategy to ensure that it is meeting market needs
  35. 35. Phase III: Market Research Brand Imagery Research
  36. 36. Brand Imagery Research QUESTIONS– A picture is worth a thousand words… • What do we want to convey in our imagery about our brand and the experience? Landmarks Students Faculty Achievement
  37. 37. Brand Imagery Research Findings WHAT WE LEARNEDLandmark ImagesLandmark 1: Katz Building Landmark 2: Aerial of Campus Landmark 3: Old Main Landmark 4: Lion Shrine Most positive attributes: Landmarks 2 and 3 Quality Tradition Experienced Trustworthy
  38. 38. Brand Imagery Research Findings WHAT WE LEARNEDStudent ImagesStudent 1: Three people Student 2: Woman with computer at table Student 3: Woman with computer on sofa Student 4: Man drinking coffee Most positive attributes: Students 1 and 2 Goal-oriented Intelligent
  39. 39. Phase IV: Usability Testing
  40. 40. Usability Testing– Large usability test: previous website– Many smaller usability tests: • Site Wireframes and Mockups: “click” testing– Repeat large usability test: new website
  41. 41. Previous Site Testing LESSONS FOR THE NEW WEBSITECalls to action should not Buttons should look like make you think buttons
  42. 42. Applying the Findings LESSONS FOR THE NEW WEBSITEIf you want people to do something,don’t be afraid to askthem more than once
  43. 43. Redundant Navigation IT’S A GOOD THING Saying things twice is a good idea—especially when it comes to really important navigation
  44. 44. Site Wireframes and MockupsSMALLER USABILITY TESTING: IT’S BETTER TO TESTGOAL: Get a sense of whether specific design, layout,and/or navigation elements/labels are working (a/k/a“debugging the design”)APPROACH: Find out what’s not working, take our bestguess at fixing it, repeat until we think we’ve fixed it, lookout for new problems, repeat, repeat, repeat.
  45. 45. Usability Test 1: Header Area Users of Version 1 nearly always completed tasks twice as fast as users of Version 2
  46. 46. Usability Test 2: Navigation Area Users of Version 2 completed tasks roughly twice as fast as users of Version 1
  47. 47. Phase V: Launch and Measure Results
  48. 48. Before
  49. 49. After:ProspectiveStudents
  50. 50. After: CurrentStudents
  51. 51. After:Mobile Site
  52. 52. Results: MetricsSince launch 8 months ago vs. last year:– 1,600,000 web visits, +32%– 36,000 Inquiries, +51%– 4,700 Inquiries from mobile (incremental)
  53. 53. Results: Usability Testing % Change % ChangeTask Success Rate Failure RateRequest Information +151% -42%How to Apply +71% -56%Contact Us -9% +9%Find Tuition Rates +40% -47%Find Financial Aid Info +544% -58%Find Transfer Credit Info +318% -75%
  54. 54. Agenda– Overall goal– Problem definition– The process– Tips for success– Q&A
  55. 55. Tips for success– A website redesign never really ends…– Know what you want your brand to stand for and make sure your website is integrated with the rest of your brand– Use data to help make informed decisions and reduce debate in order to keep moving forward– Ensure there is senior level support and established checkpoints for on-going communications
  56. 56. Tips for success– Know where your internal expertise is and where you need to seek external help and budget for it upfront– Identify a project manager and establish a timeline even if it changes…because it will!– Ensure there is a cross-functional collaborative team established with accountability to the delivery of the project– Communicate, communicate, communicate with your stakeholders and seek continuous feedback
  57. 57. Agenda– Overall goal– Problem definition– The process– Tips for success– Q&A
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