The University of Leeds has developed a new web site to support potential and existing students in selecting and managing their accommodation.
The new web site is built using Jadu CMS and provides a 'beacon' for the university's accommodation offerings, positioning itself favourably against other accommodation offerings within the city of Leeds and services provided by other institutions.
Having an effective accommodation website is a crucial element for any successful university. Selecting accommodation is a key activity that prospective students undertake when selecting an undergraduate degree course and University so it's critical to get this right.
User testing had confirmed that the previous accommodation web site looked dated in its design. It also identified that although the site contained a lot of useful information, it did not allow sufficient comparison of different residences on and off campus to be made and users also found it difficult to navigate the site.
The University's Residential Service also wanted its website to better conform to present University web guidelines.
"After carrying out a number of focus groups we found that potential
students pay particular attention to accommodation websites when looking
at universities online. The experience an applicant has when visiting
an accommodation website can make a difference when they're choosing a
Ian Robertson, Head of Residential Accommodation
To enable the development of a new web site the Accommodation department decided that a Content Management System was required to provide a solid foundation for the future.
A number of options for development were considered including development by the University's Information Systems Services team however, this was discounted due to existing project commitments and a decision made to seek external development.
After a full evaluation of potential suppliers Jadu was selected because they were a large organisation with a strong development team; they already supported the main University web site, they had experience of working within the University's guidelines and were also able to complete the project within the short timescale required.
An image gallery (photos, pdfs and maps) has also been developed to provide easy access to imagery for the range of accommodation options, complemented by straightforward and intuitive navigation/access to supporting information.
The site also utilises video content to provide accommodation tours and student testimonials.
As new fees regimes are introduced, making interaction easier for prospective students will become increasingly important. The University of Leeds will be developing the Accommodation web platform to provide a range of innovative services and offerings as an integrated part of the University's recruitment strategy.
The Jadu web platform, upon which it is built, provides the
transactional capabilities that are critical to engaging prospective and
existing student tenants through a two way online interaction.
Leeds' Accommodation site
The page for Devonshire Hall
..with links through to the gallery etc
About Leeds University