This project is still in production and not yet fully released. All design work shown in this case study is not final and still subject to change.
The FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences is one of Austria’s largest educational institutions. As such, the whole les Avignons team was quite excited when they approached us with the redesign of their complete web presence. With three campuses and offering over 50 fields of study, this was our largest-scale project to date. Working closely with an internal content-strategy team, we designed and built a website that sets new standards in the way prospective students take decisions about their professional future.
Instead of a simple visual refresh of the website, we wanted to look deeper into how prospective students choose their respective fields of study and make decisions about where to get their education. We were set on dramatically improving the experience of choosing a field of study (and subsequently deciding one’s future) as a young adult. During our initial pitch to the executive board, my colleague Thomas put forward our ambitions: “When we are done with this website, we don’t want to be doing another educational project for at least 5 years.”
The first aspect of the site that we tackled was also the first point of contact between the university and their students. They wanted a better way to advise prospective students on their offer and help them chose their perfect field. After some initial research, we found that most help resources online consisted of tedious multiple choice tests that checked for existing competencies and previous grades.
But in reality, that’s not how somebody choses what they study. Prospective students search the web for different universities and look at subjects and at how much they apply to them. They check when they need to apply, how they need to apply, look at brochures, other students, different trips, campus life, and many more aspects. They might also go to an open house day and ask student counseling or a campus guide to tell them about the different subjects. But most importantly, they talk to their social circles. About how their parents and relatives knew what was right for them.
We designed a system that would talk to the user directly – much in the same way a personal advisor would – and recommend fields of study based on general interests, not on grades. Users then are able to quickly sift through a variety of suggestions and share their results with friends and family, to ask for their opinion.
To bridge the gap between the coursefinder and the detailed program information, we designed a landing-page that would both give a quick overview of the most important facts (ie. “when is there an open house day? What is the application deadline?”) and offer some insights into both the learning goals and career oportunities of the program. During the design process, we looked a lot at marketing pages of physical products and tried to think of education as such. Trying to work out the core features and selling points of the program proved to be very useful for our design process.