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Redeemer University College

Public website overhaul

Redeemer University College (RUC) is an undergraduate university known for providing a high-quality liberal arts and sciences university education.

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Redeemer University College

In 2014 RUC began a renewal of much of its information technology infrastructure. The overall project, called ‘Telling Our Story,’ consisted of a number of components and streams, including an overhaul of the university’s public-facing website.

We turned to students, alumni, staff, and faculty to answer questions about the problems we need to solve and for whom we need to solve them. Our research effort was critical when it came to building a set of recommendations and included an analytics review, group audience research sessions, and field studies to understand the community at RUC.

Practicality rules

As is often the case in PSE and Higher Ed projects, our review of analytics data and conversations with students revealed the importance of practical information. Through design we made it easy to find important information on programs, applying to RUC, and the costs associated with attending a private university.

Screenshot of Cost Comparison page

Understanding cost

The cost of attending a private university in Canada is often misunderstood. Our research with current students and alumni revealed that the cost of attending RUC is very comparable to public universities, due in large part to generous financial aid options available at RUC.

Secondary research helped us understand that over half of all prospective students thought paying for university was going to be difficult.

We put practical information about costs front and centre through an option in the main navigation called ‘Paying for University’, a comprehensive comparison chart, and CTAs encouraging cost comparison throughout the site.

Demonstrating community

The community at RUC is tightly knit, vibrant, and evident after only a few visits to campus. To capture and share everything happening at Redeemer we designed and built Redeemer Today; a unique page featuring a mix of social, news, and events content in one integrated interface.

Screenshot of Cost Comparison page

Making connections

The most effective way for prospects to ask questions and receive information is by connecting directly with an admissions counsellor at RUC. Starting on the home page, we use geolocation to provide visitors with a photo and the name and contact information of the admissions counsellor in their area.

Projects like this are most successful with committed resources on both sides, particularly when it comes to content. Content is critical to the user experience and is often the component that derails large website projects. The RUC team had people focused on content which allowed us to move quickly and hit content-complete development sprint targets.

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