Empathy and Design Thinking: How Becoming Student-Focused Improved UX, Busted Silos & Built Bridges
Luis Merino – Assistant Director of Digital Experience – Dallas County
Community College District
Slides: Empathy and Design Thinking: How Becoming Student-Focused Improved UX, Busted Silos & Built Bridges
In the aftermath of a chaotic website migration, the eight web teams of the Dallas
County Community College District were left to contend with over 1,000 pages of disordered content, redundant information and inconsistent layouts—not to mention failing inter-team dynamics! We realized the only way to strengthen our websites and move forward as a cohesive team was to unify our largely-independent teams around one compelling goal: put the needs of the student at the center of all our work.
This presentation will walk you through how we transformed the marketing pages for 100 programs across 7 colleges from a disjointed mess into a streamlined user experience that provides greater value to students. Along the way we discovered an empathy-driven methodology called Design Thinking. Learn how you can implement its five phases to resolve any creative challenge by:
- clearly defining your problem
- collaboratively brainstorming solutions
- swiftly developing prototypes
- evaluating ideas through usability testing
- persistently involving students throughout the process
Underscoring this entire process is empathy, which we ultimately learned is the key– not only to improving user experience, but also to boost collaboration, bust down silos and build up bridges.
How to Use Your CRM and Digital Marketing to Open the Enrollment Floodgates!
Laura Waits – Director of Web and Digital Marketing – University of
Elisa Olsen – Executive Director University Relations – University of
Slides: How to Use Your CRM and Digital Marketing to Open the Enrollment Floodgates!
Imagine a world where you could know which digital advertisement a prospective student saw, took action on, filled out a lead form, submitted an application, and (GASP!) ENROLLED! Your leadership would think you walked on water, right?
Learn how we integrated traditional advertising with a rich digital marketing campaign that delivers results. We refocused our efforts on a digital marketing solution that integrated a lead-generating micro-site as well as our CRM.
We are now able to report on the total number of leads, applications, enrollments down to the program level. Further, we can show the improvement in our metrics year after year and can assist leadership with questions such as “Should we offer this program online?” “When do students want to take courses?”
And last, wouldn’t you like to go into meetings with leadership as the marketing Subject Matter Expert who has data that has been validated?
Sound too good to be true? It’s not!
Telling Stories at Scale
Mike Powers – Executive Director of Marketing and Communications – Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Slides: Telling Stories at Scale
Everyone’s got a story, and your university surely has thousands. But too often, we scramble to find good content to fill our social, web, and media channels. In that scramble, we may end up publishing content that doesn’t engage our audiences—or help our university’s brand—the way we need it to.
In support of a major rebranding effort, we set out to solve this challenge. By creating a “story pipeline,” we’ve been able to capture more story leads and better shape our story output to represent the university as a whole. The process hasn’t been easy. But the lessons we’ve learned along the way will be helpful to anyone seeking to set up a similar system at their own institutions.
What you’ll learn:
- What stories are and aren’t and ways to get your team to come together around a definition that works for them.
- Assessing your current story output to make the case for change.
- Introducing your creatives to the ideas of workflow and content ops.
- Creating formulas that make storytelling easier.
- Bringing story content into non-story formats.