Faculty & Research

March 31, 2010
User Research
To date, we have done the following user research:
Online survey: as of 3/29, 232 respondents took the survey
Students and Faculty Interviews
 Departments: Accounting, eBusiness, Finance, Student Academic Services,
Professional Experience
 Economics and Marketing did not respond
 More students to be interviewed week of 3/29
Web Stats
Site Analysis
FAQs from Administrative Assistants
Competitive Analysis Findings
The following screen grabs are meant to provide examples of what a variety of schools
are doing. This is just a sampling of examples and is not meant to be exhaustive.
Many business schools’ main pages are more like a homepages:
 Horizontal, global navigation
 Navigation organized both by topic and by audience
 “Stories” about the school, faculty, students, and alumni highlighting strengths
 Feature areas for both news, events, and other content of interest
Design is consistent throughout the entire university’s site, yet allows for variation of
design for colleges and departments within a clear style and system
Emphasize social networking tools, RSS feeds, blogs, video, and podcasting
Contain sections about employment (“Recruiters & Companies”) and faculty research
(“Faculty & Research”)
Content is delivered in concise “chunks” so info is easy to understand quickly
CBE’s peer set (based on AACSB), for the most part, is not doing anything online of
much interest, which puts CBE in a good position
William & Mary
Navigation is organized by topic and by audience. Global navigation is horizontal.
“Stories” about programs, students,
alumni, and faculty highlights the
school’s strengths.
“Connect with Mason” emphasizes
social networking tools and blogs.
“Modules” allow school to highlight content.
William & Mary
William & Mary’s design is consistent throughout, yet allows for variation of design within a clear style and system.
William & Mary
Business school blog provides an arena for faculty, alumni, and students to contribute short,
timely articles. This page links from Mason homepage link, “Everyone Has a Story.”
Indiana University
Highlights the school’s strengths by describing the “Kelley Advantage” and by telling student, alumni, and faculty “stories.”
Navigation is organized both by topic and by audience.
News and events are emphasized on the main page and have RSS feeds.
Indiana University
Indiana’s design is consistent throughout, yet allows for variation of design within a clear style and system.
Departments highlight strengths through messaging and images.
University of Connecticut
Consistent design throughout, yet allows for variation of design within a clear style and system.
Horizontal navigation; organized
by topic and audience.
Areas for featured content.
University of Georgia
Consistent design throughout, yet allows departments to highlight strengths through messaging and images.
Video “stories” about the college, students,
alumni, and faculty highlight the school’s
More School Examples
Navigation is organized by audience and by topic. Global navigation is horizontal.
“Stories” about the college, students, alumni,
and faculty highlight the school’s strengths.
News and events are both highlighted
on the school’s main page.
More School Examples
The vibrant designs and the photos of students give the schools’ websites personality.
Peer Schools
Some example of peer school websites.
Recruiters & Companies
The “Recruiters & Companies” section of the site emphasizes employment and help students, alumni, and
employers connect.
Faculty & Research
The “Faculty & Research” sections of these sites emphasize faculty research, publications, blogs, and other
areas of expertise as well as provide a space for listing faculty openings.
Web Stats Key Findings
Following is a summary of traffic to pages on the CBE site:
Summary of Top Entry Points to the CBE Site
Visitors to the site are mainly entering the site through the following pages:
Main Page (www.towson.edu/cbe)
Major in Business Administration
Faculty & Staff
Internships & Career Services
Summary of Top 20 Pages Visited
Main Page
Major in Business Administration
Faculty & Staff
Internships & Career Services
Undergraduate Programs
BUAD Application
Advising (main page)
Web Stats Key Findings
Summary of Top 20 Pages Visited (continued)
Student Resources (main page)
Graduate Programs
Schedule of Classes
Advising Forms
Department of eBusiness and Technology Management
Suggested Course Sequence for Business Administration Majors
Signature Events
Minor in Business Administration
About the College
Petition for Acceptance of Transfer Credits
Major in Business Administration with a PMBA Track
Web Survey Key Findings
232 respondents took the web survey (as of 3/29), and this is a summary of what they said:
Information could be easier to find
 “Over time I have become familiar with the layout of the website and find it easy to
 “Hard to find some information,” “too many links to get where you need to be,” “info is
not easy to find,” “confusing”
Site design needs to be more vibrant and to emphasize the college’s strengths
 “The site is bland and uninviting”
 “Lacks focus on college strengths and lacks strong visual impact”
 “Could be more exciting”
 “It doesn’t look as prestigious as other business schools”
Need a more comprehensive events calendar with important dates
 “Does not include all events on the calendar”
 “Does not label specific dates of importance” (“important dates like advising sessions,
deadlines for specific CBE programs,” etc)
 The Sharepoint calendar seems to be a first step in addressing this issue, although it
contains internal event info(e.g., departmental meetings) that is not relevant to many
Web Survey Key Findings
Users are looking for information about:
 BUSX 460/Internship class
 CBE deadlines
 CBE events
 Major requirements
 Advising
 Registration
 GPA calculator
 Graduation deadlines
 Specific classes
 Internship opportunities
 Faculty (education, courses taught, publications and research)
 Access to Blackboard, Webmail, and Online Services
 Advising forms and info (for faculty to give to students)
Faculty & Student Interviews
Based on interviews with students and faculty, users are looking for information about:
 Important deadlines (applying for majors, advising, registering, graduation, Computer
Proficiency Exam, etc.)
 CBE events (networking, lectures, activities, etc.)
 Advising process and degree requirements specific to majors
 Faculty profiles (including education, courses taught, publications)
 Major requirements, advising, registration, GPA calculator, graduation deadlines, 4-year
template schedule, BUAD calculator, calculating GPA
 Requirements for transfer students
 Changing majors, repeating classes, taking classes at other universities
 Where people are getting jobs, what kind of jobs, what alumni are doing
 International programs
Users would also like to see a site that is:
 Less cluttered and has less text
 More dynamic visually
 Representative of college’s diversity, small class size, use of technology
 Technologically minded (with video, podcasts, blogs, etc. in addition to Twitter,
Facebook, Flickr)
FAQs from Administrative Assistants
Following are the questions that departmental administrative assistants are frequently asked:
 Why can’t I get into a class?
 I’m graduating: How do I get into a class?
 I can’t get help from my advisor. What do I do? Where is he or she?
 Who is my advisor?
 How do I set up an appointment with my advisor?
 How do I get a professor to talk a “hold” off?
 I can’t register; Online Services won’t let me.
 Do transfer students need to meet with us prior to TU Cares?
 Meeting transfer requirements for getting into the BUAD major.
 When do I need to apply for the BUAD major?
 Do IU have to have a concentration or track in the BUAD major?
 Where is my classroom?
Identifying Requirements for New Site
Greater conversion of prospects through refreshed design and visual appeal
 Give the site more personality and highlight college’s strengths
 Have more photos and profiles of students, faculty, and alumni
Provide CBE with a home page more like TU main
 Gives the college greater ability to deliver content and marketing messages
 Allows the college to have navigation organized by topic and by audience
Make information easier to find
 “Too many links to get where you need to be,” according to users
 Streamline content to help users more quickly find what they’re looking for
Create portal pages for audiences, including prospective students (1ST year students
and transfers), current students, faculty & staff, alumni, and companies and recruiters
Provide departments with greater flexibility of design and content while staying within a
consistent design template
Provide a more comprehensive events calendar highlighting important dates
Identifying Requirements for New Site
Reduce questions about requirements and advising by revising and simplifying
information about on the site
Expand information about employment for student job seekers, prospective students,
and employers/recruiters looking for employees
 Tell the “story” of why TU CBE students are the ones employers want to hire
Create a more comprehensive faculty and research section to showcase all of the work
being done by CBE faculty, emphasize experts, and attract applicants
Highlight CBE’s international programs
More thoroughly integrate the social networking tools that CBE is using into the site as
well as add video, blogs, podcasts and other elements
Create new faculty bio template, which can be applied across TU site
Determine a mobile strategy for CBE, as part of TU’s greater mobile strategy
Issues & Next Steps
 Does CBE have the resources to commit to creating and maintaining more content?
 What production processes are in place for creating video, podcasts, etc.? Is CBE
committed to doing that?
 Not all departments have someone responsible for and/or capable of updating: how
will those departments be helped?
What “stories” does CBE want to tell about the college? What does the college want to
promote about itself? Local success stories? International programs? Current
students? Alumni?
Next steps: Finalization of site requirements and begin concept/design phase