HX Applied: Winning In Higher Education
3 minute read
Apolinar was engaged to redevelop a major education provider’s website as part of a wider brand refresh, with project goals of increasing leads, conversion rates, and enrolments.
Because many of the client’s students didn’t complete secondary school or qualify for University Entrance, this provider’s non-traditional pathway to higher education is often a life-changing option.
By dramatically improving the Human Experience of the digital enrolment process, Apolinar helped create a digital experience that engages the audience, empowering them to enrol.
Apolinar spent two weeks conducting market research and discovery to identify key project opportunities and challenges, helping redefine the long-term growth strategy.
Using the HX framework, a 5-Day Co-Design Sprint was held with key stakeholders. The first three days were used to repurpose existing data and analytics for opportunity identification and decision-making. On day four, Apolinar created an interactive prototype in just seven hours. Day five, Apolinar tested the prototype on campus with 28 students, gathering critical feedback. Any negative themes were interrogated and fixed.
Testing allowed designers to gather real-time feedback from students, and the sessions were streamed live for the client to observe. This user testing provided invaluable insight into user behaviour, ultimately shaping a successful project.
Apolinar’s designers used the HX next generation delivery model, Design-Ops, to drive efficiency in costs, quality, and agility. This process allows multiple designers to work on different parts of the website by creating branches for review by an Art Director or Brand Guardian, before being merged into the master design. This unique HX process helps validate designs with all relevant stakeholders.
A new high performance marketing website was designed and delivered within 12 weeks, streamlining the enrolment process and increasing conversion rates, helping potential students discover suitable courses based on their interests and passions, while lowering drop-off rates.
The HX Difference
Educating young people is not a zero-sum game. Because of HX, our client is able to help kids who might otherwise be educationally disenfranchised.
By dramatically improving the human experience of the digital enrolment process, Apolinar helped achieve a digital experience that not only engages the audience, but also empowers them to enrol.
Two weeks of A/B testing of the old site against the new showed a 32% rise in lead conversions, a result the client described as “Extraordinary.” The new site continues to convert more than 1.5% more effectively than the old one (while this may sound small, it’s a very significant increase).
Bounce rates decreased nearly 20%, meaning a higher Quality Score on Google Ads, and a lower cost per click, saving the client money. Anecdotal feedback collected by the client from existing and potential students has been exclusively positive, with the new site continuing to create a competitive advantage.
Apolinar has successfully applied HX to a wide range of industry sectors, organisations, and use-cases across New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and the UK.
HX has been designed to achieve digital transformation, and as a methodology it works regardless of the size or scope of the problem, the territory or geography, the stakeholders, end-users, or customers involved. HX offers a critical, beneficial difference for organisations looking to effect digital transformation and drive competitive advantage.
Authored by Jon Beattie
30 November 2021
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