Assessing the influences of website design over the choice of university for undergraduate study, using the University of Chester as an example
AbstractThis paper seeks to attain which website design considerations a university must make to engage undergraduate students, using the University of Chester‟s website as a basis for assessment. It further endeavours to evaluate the degree in which the University of Chester‟s website meets the needs of prospective undergraduate students. Finally, this paper attempts to measure which website elements a user would select in designing their ideal university web page. The findings show a high level of support for the marketisation of Higher Education, with market behaviour reflecting a shift power online, to that of the undergraduate consumer. This paper considered prospective undergraduate students as being generation Y consumers, seeking a positive interactive website experience, to aid evaluation and help determine the value of a course. These consumers place considerable trust in their online experience, with anything falling below their expectations having an adverse effect on their perceptions of the brand. The findings support that there are two types of consumer, and in satisfying the needs of both, universities should adopt a user-centric approach to website design. The study considers visual engagement, usability and written content as the three primary website design considerations that a university must address, in order to satisfy prospective undergraduate students. This paper concludes that a university's website provides one of the greatest opportunities to influence and satisfy the needs of the undergraduate market.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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