A poor relation (no longer!)

Now our website has been live for almost a year it's time to properly start analysing our statistics, look at tweaking the design, do some user testing and really look at how we can improve it yet further.

One of the main and most used features on our homepage is definitely our course finder:
All of our courses at your fingertips!
A lot of development and testing has previously gone into this and we've been working with the team at Funnelback to make it a really user friendly search solution.

This led us to looking at the one big issue we have - being a multi-campus university (five in total) displaying related courses in the search has proven very difficult at times. At one stage, all courses with the same name but at different campuses yielded the exact same results. For example, a search for 'Accountancy' bought up five related courses also all called 'Accountancy' - with no indicator they were different! Definitely not the best for students weighing up the options of what to study...

That's more like it!
Well, finally we have a solution! Using the content collected from SITs (our student record system) our clever little course finder can now display the campus as well as the course title in the related courses section. This makes it much more intuitive, gives the user a much more tailored experience and helps them easily navigate between courses.

So there you have it, related courses that really are related. We think the styling looks nice too, and this is just the first step. We already have a project spec written up to improve the tabbed site search and include our many YouTube videos in the results - we have all the great and up to date content so why not use it?

Watch this space for many ongoing developments. It's an exciting time for the University of Bedfordshire website...
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