Northumberland College is the only general Further Education College in Northumberland, delivering vocational training, from introductory level to higher education, for more than 50 years.
The College runs its courses from a number of campuses and centres which include Ashington (main campus) and Kirkley Hall (land based industries hub). As well as delivering full and part time courses for school leavers and adult learners, they also work with employers to deliver apprenticeships, workplace and bespoke training courses.
The client wanted a complete overhaul of their College website to improve the access students had to information on courses and HE in general. The new College websites had to appeal to a male and female audience in four key markets: 16-18 year olds, adult learners, HE learners and employers. It needed to be extremely intuitive and easy to use and provide a strong proactive communications platform where users could interact and engage with the College.
The key consideration on this project was how the diverse target audiences interact with the site and content. The course search information and search return results were a major issue for users, which became clear during our research and user focus groups we conducted.
Our designs, navigation and structure of the course database all reflect the detailed research undertaken and have come together to provide a site that is user friendly and well targeted. Information is easily accessible for students with online forms, extensive search features and other user tools. The College has benefited from improved system integration, detailed management information, improved data capture and a range of tools which automate processes and help manage workflows.
We have gone on to help the Group develop other websites and projects including the Kirkley Hall Campus, Kirkley Zoo and Kirkley Hall.
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