Hopwood Hall is a vocational further education college located in Middleton & Rochdale. They came to I-COM looking to rebuild their website.
They wanted a fresh new design that would set them apart from other further education providers in Greater Manchester.
At the same time, they needed a site that they could update easily via the CMS. The site needed to integrate into EBS Course Information Portal and also to showcase their public-facing services.
They asked for a site with strong visuals that was not text-heavy that would be easy to navigate and could prominently integrate their social media content as this is the primary way they reach their target student base.
One of the key factors in the build was the need to integrate with EBS. EBS is a typical management system that doesn't lend itself towards displaying rich content on the web, so we set up an automated process to check EBS once a day for updates. When the system finds a new course, it pulls in the base information and notifies the web admin. Using the CMS, the admin can then easily enrich the content to provide a greater user experience.
We designed a site that was very image-led, enabling Hopwood to populate the design with colourful pictures demonstrating life on campus and which used our social board to integrate the college’s social media content onto the individual pages of the site.
The flexible design also allowed Hopwood to populate blocks with testimonials from notable graduates and included access to portals for both current students and for parents.
The design is responsive, meaning it works well for students accessing the site on their mobiles and the improved user experience means that applying for courses via the website is much easier.
Visitors are finding the site far more engaging - it has an impressive
bounce rate of just 35%. User sessions have increased 18% and visitors look at an average of 3.4 pages per visit and spend 3 min 02 sec per session.
Mobile is now far and away the biggest percentage of people accessing the site, and in Google’s new mobile-first index, the site has great coverage, with over 6,100 different non-brand terms sending traffic each month.