Role Interactive Design, User Experience, User Research Support
VFS.edu is an admissions tool for potential students to learn about the school’s program offerings. The site is managed by the marketing department as a lead generation tool. It serves as a bridge between external users (potential students) and internal power users (the admissions team).
Pre 2014 version of the website, students considering attending the Vancouver Film school were unsure what everyday school would look like . Many students that had gone through the application process claimed that talking to their admissions advisor as the most useful piece of the application process. Our mission was to bridge the information gap between the website and the admissions advisors.
Upon my arrival on the project, the team had already undertaken the massive task of auditing the existing site and deciding which information was no longer relevant.
The school had a treasure trove of domain expertise in each of it’s departments. The heads of each department run tight programs that cater to the needs of each student group. We spent a lot of time with each department, understanding the needs of their program and what notes we needed hit with the site in order to attract the right kinds of students.
Taking what we learned in the site audit & the stakeholder interviews I partnered with the senior user experience designer & our ui developer to plan the high level organizational structure of the site. It went from over 400 pages to 35!
The program pages are the heart of the VFS website & required the most stakeholder buy-in. Each department needed to be given the opportunity for their curriculum and student experience to shine. But, we also needed to make it buildable, so our design needed to be flexible enough to work for each unique program. We ended up with one design template that we were able to customize for each program with tailored copy, photography and student work.
Like any website homepage the home of vfs.edu needed to clearly state who VFS is and what they offer. Not only that, but with VFS being a world class creative school it’s homepage needed to be beacon of storytelling and a showcase for the incredible student work that is produced each year. The tagline for the school is Results Matter and what better way to show results than the amazing student work that is produced every day at the school.
It was a pleasure to work on this project with the team at VFS. We learned from usabilty testing and site analytics that the the site is informative and straightforward, creating a much improved experience for visitors. Not only that, but the new site significantly increased conversion rates & therefore the number of students that were able to talk with an admissions advisor.
In addition to the user experience improvements that the new site brought, vfs.edu has become an even bigger asset to the marketing team as a data harvesting tool that they can easily manipulate and monitor.