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Students Rating Higher Education Websites

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What do students like and not like about their experiences at higher education websites?

The presentation for the J.Boye Aarhus09 conference reports results from 12 college and university surveys, comparing responses from current students and future students.

See the example from St. Edward's University of the one page you can add to your website that will increase visitor satisfaction.

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Students Rating Higher Education Websites

  1. 1. Rating Higher Education Websites: The Student Experience ©Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D. 2009 J.Boye Conference Aarhus 2009 November 4, 2009 Aarhus, Denmark
  2. 2. Who is Bob Johnson? <ul><li>Higher education marketer since 1980s </li></ul><ul><li>Writer of monthly “Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter” </li></ul><ul><li>Owner… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC </li></ul><ul><li>Partner w/Gerry McGovern at Customer Carewords </li></ul><ul><li>Chair of Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, 1994 to 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Ph.D. in political science (UMass Amherst) </li></ul>
  3. 3. In today’s presentation… <ul><li>Identifying website factors that are most important to visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Comparing responses from “future” or prospective students with those from current students </li></ul><ul><li>Where to focus website improvement efforts </li></ul><ul><li>If you could only make one change… </li></ul>
  4. 4. Customer Centric Index (CCI) survey… <ul><li>Asks website visitors to select from 13 website attributes to identify top 3 positive or negative experiences </li></ul><ul><li>CCI = % of positive votes cast </li></ul><ul><li>4 audiences to survey: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Possible future students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty and staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alumni </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. 13 survey factors in 3 groups… <ul><li>Information Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><li>Social </li></ul>
  6. 9. Copyright © Customer Carewords Ltd. <ul><li>Please choose the THREE factors from the list below that best describe your actual experience with the Enormous State University website. </li></ul><ul><li>Give a score of 3 to the factor which best describes your experience, 2 to the next best description, and then 1. </li></ul><ul><li>Please give only one score of 3, 2 and 1. </li></ul><ul><li>Leave the rest blank. </li></ul>
  7. 10. Investing improvement resources…
  8. 11. Typical voting spread…
  9. 12. Action priorities…
  10. 13. CCI at 12 schools… <ul><li>10 in presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ball State University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bemidji State University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DePaul University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>East Stroudsburg University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fordham University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lund University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tyler Junior College </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Manitoba </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Missouri </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Waterloo </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2 not in presentation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Hertfordshire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Oslo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On next CCI ratings page only </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 14. 11 CCI Survey Results… % External Voters…………….. % Positive Votes <ul><li>76% 91.6% </li></ul><ul><li>74% 79.6% </li></ul><ul><li>70% 86.1% </li></ul><ul><li>67% 89.3% </li></ul><ul><li>62% 51.0% </li></ul><ul><li>61% 27.7% </li></ul><ul><li>52% 4.8% </li></ul><ul><li>45% 10.2% </li></ul><ul><li>11% 57.0% </li></ul><ul><li>3% 57.6% </li></ul><ul><li>0% 54.0% </li></ul>
  12. 15. More often than not… <ul><li>External users were happier than internal users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Future students were happier than current students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alumni were close to future students </li></ul></ul><ul><li>High concern overall with deficiencies in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search </li></ul></ul>
  13. 16. Audience specific results… <ul><li>Future Students </li></ul>
  14. 17. Areas of interest by votes received… <ul><li>Information Architecture factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4,490 votes = 49.3% of total </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2,763 votes = 30.3% of total </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1,856 votes = 20.3% of total </li></ul></ul>
  15. 18. Audience specific results… <ul><li>Current Students </li></ul>
  16. 19. Areas of interest by votes received… <ul><li>Information Architecture factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5,391 votes = 54.4% of total </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2,786 votes = 28.1% of total </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1,739 votes = 17.5% of total </li></ul></ul>
  17. 20. Key comparison areas… Current students vs. Future students
  18. 21. Top 5 factors by votes cast… <ul><li>Current students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Layout (IA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search (IA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation (IA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Up-to-date (Content) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual (IA) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Future students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation (IA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Layout (IA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual (IA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complete (Content) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accurate (Content) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 22. Highest difference between positive and negative votes… <ul><li>Current students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>82 to 15 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>57 to 0 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>62 to 24 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complete </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>74 to 39 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Future </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>100 to 4 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Layout </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>96 to 26 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>100 to 32 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>83 to 24 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 23. Least difference between positive and negative votes… <ul><li>Current students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accurate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>100 to 74 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>► Search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>40 to 20 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>100 to 75 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Future students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>100 to 79 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accurate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>93 to 63 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>100 to 76 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 24. What do CCI results mean? <ul><li>Difficult for one website to meet internal and external users needs </li></ul><ul><li>Argues for Internet and Intranet websites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intranet users need “nuts and bolts” website that focuses on frequent task completion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Special attention to navigation & search… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help people to quickly find things </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Less focus on “beauty” & “cool” </li></ul><ul><li>Increased audience research </li></ul>
  22. 25. If you can make only one change… Consider this… Search + Site Map
  23. 26. Combine search & site map… http://www.stedwards.edu/siteindex.htm
  24. 27. Key challenges for higher education websites… <ul><li>Acceptance of “intranet” and “internet” approach </li></ul><ul><li>Easier access to most important content and completion of top tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Greater use of web analytics </li></ul><ul><li>Continued growth of “web content editor” positions… the website as on “online publication” </li></ul>
  25. 28. Meeting the first challenge… http://www.devry.edu/
  26. 29. Thank You! Bob Johnson, Ph.D. President Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 248.766.6425 [email_address] http://twitter.com/HighEdMarketing Customer Carewords Research for Online Marketing Success: http://www.bobjohnsonconsulting.com/customercarewords.html
  27. 30. Addendum Overall CCI data results
  28. 31. Total Results from 4 Audiences <ul><li>Current students </li></ul><ul><li>Future students </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty & Staff </li></ul><ul><li>Alumni </li></ul>
  29. 32. Voters by audience category… <ul><li>Future students… 3,342 </li></ul><ul><li>Alumni… 1,416 </li></ul><ul><li>Current students… 3,594 </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty & staff… 589 </li></ul><ul><li>Total voters… 8,941 </li></ul><ul><li>Total votes… 26,823 </li></ul>
  30. 33. Areas of interest by total votes… <ul><li>IA… 14,325 votes = 53.4% of total </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual Appeal (2,834) High: 87% Low: 57% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Layout (3,354) High: 85% Low: 61% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speed (1,797) High: 84% Low: 49% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation (3,940) High: 62% Low: 35% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>► Search (2,712) High: 55% Low: 24% </li></ul></ul>
  31. 34. Areas of interest by votes… <ul><li>Content… 7,396 votes = 27.5% of total </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language (1,263) High:100%Low: 79% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accurate (1,861) High: 100%Low: 63% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Up-to-date (2,382) High: 86% Low: 41% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complete (1,890) High: 82% Low: 40% </li></ul></ul>
  32. 35. Areas of interest by votes… <ul><li>Social…. 4,709 votes = 17.5% of total </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open (1,590) High: 90% Low: 60% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact (1,871) High: 72% Low: 42% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participation (913) High: 73% Low: 33% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendations (486) High: 76% Low: 0% </li></ul></ul>
  33. 36. Audience specific results… <ul><li>Future Students </li></ul>
  34. 37. Areas of interest by votes received… <ul><li>IA… 4,490 votes = 49.3% of total </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual Appeal (1,059) High: 93% Low: 4% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Layout (1,194) High: 96% Low: 26% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speed (714) High: 87% Low: 41% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation (1,332) High: 83% Low: 24% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search (701) High: 92% Low: 50% </li></ul></ul>
  35. 38. Areas of interest by votes received… <ul><li>Content… 2,763 votes = 30.3% of total </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language (424) High: 100%Low: 79% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accurate (810) High: 93% Low: 63% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Up-to-date (677) High: 86% Low: 41% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complete (852) High: 82% Low: 40% </li></ul></ul>
  36. 39. Areas of interest by votes received… <ul><li>Social…. 1,856 votes = 20.3% of total </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open (739) High: 100%Low: 76% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact (575) High: 100% Low:32% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participation (314) High: 100% Low:59% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendations (228)High: 100%Low:61% </li></ul></ul>
  37. 40. Audience specific results… <ul><li>Current Students </li></ul>
  38. 41. Areas of interest by votes received… <ul><li>IA… 5,391 votes = 54.4% of total </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual Appeal (866) High: 88% Low: 57% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Layout (1,254) High: 88% Low: 58% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speed (812) High: 74% Low: 48% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation (1,054) High: 62% Low: 24% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search (1,405) High: 40% Low: 20% </li></ul></ul>
  39. 42. Areas of interest by votes received… <ul><li>Content… 2,786 votes = 28.1% of total </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language (480) High: 100%Low: 75% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accurate (637) High: 100%Low: 74% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complete (651) High: 74% Low: 39% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Up-to-date (1,018) High: 75% Low: 38% </li></ul></ul>
  40. 43. Areas of interest by votes received… <ul><li>Social…. 1,739 votes = 17.5% of total </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open (437) High: 90% Low: 50% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact (824) High: 78% Low: 50% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participation (302) High: 82% Low: 15% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendations (176)High: 57% Low: 0% </li></ul></ul>

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