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Storytelling + Experiences: Ingredients of a Successful Redesign

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Storytelling + Experiences Ingredients of a Successful Redesign 
 at Loyola Marymount University


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Piero Tintori
 @pierotintori


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Mike Schulz
 @schulzmk @mStoner


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Part I Where We Started Part II Creative Approach Part III Implementation Part IV Questions


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Background


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• Located between the Pacific Ocean and downtown Los Angeles. • LMU is a comprehensive university offering 60 major programs, 41 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. • Ranked third in “Best Regional Universities (West)” by U.S. News and World Report.


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• Largest Jesuit university for undergraduates on the West Coast. • Deep commitment to ethical formation 
 and academic excellence. • Emphasizes its Jesuit and Marymount traditions through the education of the whole person.


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I. Where We Started


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The Situation • The university employs a hybrid approach to web content management responsibilities: 1. 5 centralized web managers are responsible for the support, administration and training as part of the Marketing and Communications department. 2. Distributed communications managers are employed 
 in each college, school and major area to ensure departmental websites are properly resourced. 3. 650 content providers/producers are active CMS
 users distributed throughout the university.


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The Situation • LMU has performed several brand research projects: • Target audience research. • Focus groups. • Surveys to evaluate its positioning and effectiveness 
 in the competitive marketplace.


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The Situation • LMU has evaluated strategic print communications and actively evaluates digital channels for effectiveness. • In 2010, the university redesigned LMU Magazine with a 
 multi-channel strategy employing print, web, email, social 
 and mobile tactics. • When introduced, LMU Magazine was the first university magazine in the world to have an iPad app. • The magazine continues to win numerous national CASE awards, including gold distinctions for best overall magazine in the country in its circulation category.


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Project Goals • Clean up implementation, reduce number of templates, and create code snippets that could be reused in TERMINALFOUR. • Address and optimize the information architecture. • Redesign LMU.edu and affiliated sites to better communicate what is unique about LMU and its programs to prospective students. • Better align the website’s focus on main brand attributes: academic excellence, LA, and Jesuit education. • Launch key areas of the site by August 2015.


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II. Creative Approach


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Charting a Creative Course • Both concepts consisted of dynamic interfaces that told a story and pushed conventional web experiences. • Each direction explored the use of one primary brand color (red/blue). • Knowing that LMU was developing a drone video for marketing purposes, mStoner designers created concepts that featured full screen media.


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Feedback • After seeing strong uses of red versus blue, it was decided 
 to pursue a direction that used color as an accent. • Neutral colors work better to showcase vivid photography 
 and video. • Our concepts gave confidence that we could create an website that relies heavily on photography and video as narrative devices.


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Feedback • Seeing content in a visual way prompted further consideration and needs. • We were asked to: • Develop a system that showcases a variety of content 
 with equal hierarchies. • Ensure that the system is planned for future additions 
 and changes. • Organize content in a smart and intuitive way.


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The final product…


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III. Implementation


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New Approaches to Implementation • Focus on high quality code & mobile experience. • Uses “Programmable layouts” design template alters 
 based on size and quantity of content or navigation. • Conversion Focused – Across all pages. • Quality Program / Course Content a priority.


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Focus on Conversation and Measurement • Call outs and conversion links on all pages.


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Focus on Conversation and Measurement • TERMINALFOUR v8 includes strong conversion and dashboard features: • Personalization, A/B Testing & Reporting Dashboards. • LMU preparing for their migration to v8. • Goodbye vanity metrics. • Helps focus their web strategy on tangible results. • This approach with other clients has seen an increase 
 in inquiries by 15-32%.


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Quality Course / Program Content • An easy experience for prospective students: • Dynamic filtering. • Search by degree / area of study / college. • Instant program overviews. • Focus on fantastic mobile experience. • Potential to link directly into Ellucian product sets. • Quality program descriptions – high degree of satisfaction.


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IIII. Questions


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Piero Tintori
 @pierotintori
 piero.tintori@terminalfour.com Mike Schulz
 @schulzmk
 mike.schulz@mstoner.com


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