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University of Ghent

Simplifying the way students search for their future education

The customer

The University of Ghent, UGent in short, is one of the largest universities in the Dutch-speaking region. With more than a 100 departments, they offer high-quality and research-supported study programmes.

Because of the abundance of different programmes, the Department of Educational Quality Assurance contacted us in need of advice on how to organise this on their website. With the wide range of target users in mind, how can we coordinate all types of courses in a logical and clear way?

The challenge

We started by analysing two existing platforms ‘Studiekiezer’ and ‘Studiegids’, the first aimed at potential students, the second at current students. We immediately noticed how intertwined the two platforms were and how it was unclear, even for frequent users, what the exact difference was.

We took on the challenge to determine the most important factors of both platforms. What are the different types of users looking for? How can we display that information in a way, so potential students can easily browse in search for their ideal education? How can we make it directly accessible for current students to quickly find info about their curriculum? And how can we do this, while still ensuring it to be a workable tool for UGent staff?

The quest

To first determine the most important blocks of content, we conducted a series of in-depth interviews during which we questioned all different target groups. Based on these interviews, we came up with various scenarios as input for our next phase, during which we organised 25+ user tests. These test were held to gain insights on how the different types of users interact with the existing platforms, the 'Studiegids' and the 'Studiekiezer'.

With these insights in mind, we co-created a new concept in collaboration with the different departments within UGent. Together we created a plan to combine best of both platforms into one.

This concept was then again user-tested with the same scenarios to a broad diversity of the target group to see improvement and possible further shortcomings. In dialogue with the Department of Educational Quality Assurance we created a finalised concept for a new platform.

Wireframes for Ghent University's new platform.

The result

This project resulted in a strategy for an easy-to-use platform and first designs, in which we combined best of both ‘Studiekiezer’ and ‘Studiegids’. This advice provides clear guidelines to build the platform from a user perspective. Being able to filter by interest, study area of faculty all target groups felt like the concept was tailor-made for them.

Computer screen showing Ghent University's new platform.