University of Chicago Creating a New Digital Strategy to Drive the Future of Education

Customer Engagement / Non-Profit
Each year, the University of Chicago receives hundreds of applications from all walks of life. The School needed to better support student needs through a responsive and intuitive user-experience. Rightpoint worked with their teams to develop a new digital recruitment strategy, website, digital magazine and intranet strategy – all designed to deliver a cohesive digital experience to students in the real world.

Starting with a Strategy

When you’re one of the top-ranked Social Work and Social Services schools in the nation, it’s imperative to own your voice as a leader in the field. When you are housed within the University of Chicago and your founders were the original creators of much of the social welfare disciplines that are followed nation-wide and globally today, you have an even bigger responsibility to tell your story. The Rightpoint team wanted to create a web-presence that elevated the School’s award-winning faculty and research efforts, but also supported their strategic enrollment goals.

Rightpoint has a long-standing relationship with the University of Chicago and the colleges within the University. Knowing that the success of this strategy hinged on acquiring a deep understanding of the end users, Rightpoint kicked off the project by meeting with dozens of stakeholders including staff, faculty, domestic & international students, and broader University staff.

Image of books with glasses and tablet

Work

Our advanced team of experts developed the digital strategy, website and digital magazine ahead of schedule and on budget leveraging their existing Drupal platform and infrastructure. The new site launched with great success, providing new opportunities for recruitment and supporting their new enrollment management strategies. With the site and magazine launched, we worked with their internal teams to support the release of a new student experience & intranet. This fueled student engagement and support. During the launch, several audience groups voiced an interest in more video content, so the team supplemented the existing site with a video strategy and content adding to the vitality of the site.

Following a phased approach, Rightpoint team members were able to deliver an incremental solution that aligned with University of Chicago resources and approach.

Student and Faculty Research

The Rightpoint team spent several days on-site in meetings with leadership, faculty, staff and students – to determine how they viewed the process for selecting and ultimately enrolling at a top-ranked school. Armed with the needs and wants for students, faculty and staff, we were able to deliver a stable website that better aligned with current expectations.

User Experience Design

With a strategy in place, the teams worked together to develop a human-experience approach that aligned with core needs. Thorough testing and feedback from students and other audiences allowed for refined pathways and a website that aligned with the School’s goals.

Drupal Website Development

The site was ultimately developed using Drupal 7 CMS. This allowed staff and faculty to quickly and easily update their content across the multi-site platform, and provided the technical stability to support their growth. Adding to the approach was a new directory, class schedules, magazine template and structure – all designed to work across laptop and mobile users.

Integrations & Ongoing Support

With the new system live, Rightpoint continued to meet UC leadership and end-users to further enhance the system, integrate third-party systems, and create growth in engagement. The project was viewed as a success and Rightpoint continues to support UC with new initiatives.

Male student sitting with legs crossed reading tablet with coffee in hand

Outcomes

The successful deployment of the University of Chicago’s SSA website represented one of the more technical projects that their internal IT team had managed. With key communications and development tasks well defined, we were able to deliver incredible results, including:

95%
Increase in applicant quality.
90%
Increase in applications.
75%
Increase in web traffic.

Our Contributions

Capability

  • CRM Consulting
  • Data and Analytics Strategy
  • Digital Strategy
  • Customer Journey Mapping
  • Experience Design
  • Digital Workspaces
  • Software Engineering

Technology

  • Salesforce
  • Drupal