A new digital presence

A digital presence for a heritage institution

The University of Winchester is a thriving institution with a deep commitment to teaching and research excellence.

The University needed a fresh approach to their digital channels and engagement. At the heart of this drive was the need for a website which would be designed to be intuitive and accessible and sympathetically reflect the new brand and visual personality of the institution.

Replicating the community feeling in a digital context

Roundhouse Digital was appointed to deliver a full digital strategy to streamline digital channels and deliver market leading digital communications, engagement and supporting platforms including a new website.

The website was the primary initial focus. We set out to recreate the vibrant community atmosphere of the University in a digital context. Priorities were to deliver an excellent user-experience across digital channels, display rich and varied content to a broad range of audiences, and to deliver a high quality responsive site with cutting edge search functionality.

The site is conversion centric with intelligent placement of call to action buttons promoting open day events, prospectus requests, course searches and applications.

Navigation

The navigation approach provides a ‘drawer system’ enabling visitors to the site to click through to deep level pages conveniently from within the hamburger navigation. Further key navigation elements have been included outside the hamburger navigation for further prominence. This hybrid approach, combined with a ‘discover’ dropdown make the site incredibly easy to navigate.

Course pages are simple to find and crafted to resonate with prospective students through high quality messaging and imagery.

Search Innovation

The primary goal for the search project was to bring order to the content chaos experienced on the old site and to dramatically improve the search experience. We set out to create a seamless and rich user experience.

The site delivers full screen real time search functionality with dynamic search suggestions and deep search indexing within documents as well as webpage content. Each type of content, from courses and events to staff, media, news and further content has a distinct search result layout and unique filters to provide a high quality search experience, rather than the standard listing approach typical of many Higher Education websites. To further enhance this approach we delivered matching layouts and styling between any listing pages and the global search filtered results for visual consistency.

The search management interface allows the University to constantly tweak the algorithm and train the machine-learning system so results are as relevant as possible for the end-user.