WPU Launches New Digital Experience: Fully Responsive, Multimedia Focused Website (www.peace.edu)

Oct 12, 2016

William Peace University is proud to announce it has launched a new website experience for prospective students, families, and alumni. The website (www.peace.edu) is fully responsive, meaning it can respond to the size of the device you are viewing it with, scaling content accordingly, and is full of interactive digital media, including hundreds of photos and videos, a full VR campus tour, and even a “Find Your Passion” quiz – where prospective students can explore WPU majors through answering a short questionnaire that focuses on their personality traits, pairing them with potential fields of study. The project was completed in 13 months by the WPU Communications and Marketing team and was aided by Systems Alliance, Inc. (SAI), a web design firm based out of Baltimore, MD that focuses primarily on higher education clients.

“I believe our website is one of the most important communication mechanisms we have as a University,” said Dr. Brian C. Ralph, President of William Peace University. “The new site does an outstanding job of representing the dynamic and engaging environment of William Peace University and our amazing metropolitan location. We provide incredible learning opportunities to our students and the new site captures those through a great mix of high quality video and written content.”

“Through a blend of cutting-edge digital media and in-depth personal stories, visitors to the William Peace University website will truly get a sense of why we are so proud of our university.”

“WPU’s new website embodies the direction Higher Education websites are taking in terms of functionality and design,” said Mark Dabrowski, Vice President of SAI. “Creating a site that is mobile-first and multimedia focused is a commitment to creating a user-centered digital experience. From the beginning of the project, we knew that WPU had a great story to tell—rich history, unique campus, remarkable students and faculty. Our goal in redesigning the website was to capture those aspects of the Peace brand and highlight them in ways that would resonate with prospective students online.”

The University and SAI relied heavily on data and market research regarding audience reach, primarily targeting the Generation Z – “Gen Zs” for short – audience. Gen Zs are individuals born in 1995 or later, comprised of current middle and high school-aged students. Gen Zs are projected to become the largest percentage of the population by 2020. In fact, U.S. Census Bureau statistics indicate their growth already exceeds members of Generation X and Millennials, rivaling the Baby Boomer generation in total number of births by year, and 2012 statistics assert that Gen Zs comprise more than a quarter of America’s population—a number that is rapidly growing as time goes on.

“One of the biggest shifts in recruitment is that our ability to gauge where students are in their decision-making process is at an all-time low. Colleges and Universities are now in a situation where prospective students have no need to engage until they are ready,” Dr. Ralph said. “With the majority of students lurking digitally, our ability to cultivate relationships with prospective students has become dramatically short-circuited. They want engagement on their own terms. Our new website provides the perfect platform for future Pacers to engage how they want and when they want, and simultaneously gives WPU the perfect opportunity to tell our story”

In addition, the WPU Communications and Marketing Team, comprised of Ian C. Dunne and Christopher J. Newman, and SAI worked closely to gather feedback and insight from many focus groups comprised of both prospective and current WPU students, as well as families, faculty and staff, and alumni.

“A lot of time and effort was put into this project. We believe this new site will provide us with a strong foundation to fuel the University’s continued growth.”

Ian C. Dunne
Director of Communications and Marketing

Another priority of the new website was to showcase the strong and unique academic programs featured at the University. More than 15 videos, which showcase a given field of study, are highlighted on the site, allowing prospective students and families to see and hear, first-hand, what it’s like to be in a WPU classroom and study at the university.

“WPU has some extraordinary people working and studying here and this new website is designed to showcase what makes our university unique,” said Dr. Kris Cohen, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing. “Through a blend of cutting-edge digital media and in-depth personal stories, visitors to the William Peace University website will truly get a sense of why we are so proud of our university.”

To view the new website, please visit www.peace.edu.

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