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University of the West of England

Website user testing and development

The brief

As increasing numbers of students complete the majority of their education searches online, university websites have become a crucial communication to reach prospective students and their parents.

UWE asked Shift Learning to conduct comprehensive user testing of their website, developing a set of evidence-based recommendations to form the basis of a coherent strategy for future development.

Our approach and methodology

Shift Learning worked quickly to deliver this significant piece of qualitative user testing within 6-weeks of project confirmation.

  • A comprehensive expert review looked at key aspects of design, navigation, functionality and competitor activity.
    User testing scripts were generated to test key hypotheses and understand the routes of use cases and user journeys on such sites.
  • 55 hour-long usability tests were conducted in 5 key locations with parents, students, careers advisors and businesses.
  • All results were recorded and analysed using Morae usability support software.
  • A/B testing of methodological approaches, with a small number of interviews conducted remotely using conferencing software GoToMeeting.
  • Clear communications via regular progress calls and meetings.
  • Short summaries were produced after sessions to provide initial insights and encourage client feedback on the process.
  • The internal project team were given remote access to observe all interviews live, as well as video recordings of all sessions.
Delivering results and value to our client

Shift Learning brought critical expertise in market research, higher education and technical development to the UWE team, including:

  • A detailed report delivering actionable and prioritised recommendations for changes in key areas including: design, navigation, content, search, brand positioning, competitor activity, functionality and key user tasks. This report included quotes and short clips of the user tests.
  • A full presentation of results with video footage.