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The Organization

Offering an extensive range of courses in art, design, fashion, communication, media and performing arts, the University of the Arts London is one of the world’s leading institutions in its field.

Split over 6 renowned Colleges, the world-class institution has produced famous alumni such as designers Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Jimmy Choo, through to actors including Pierce Brosnan, advertising royalty Charles Saatchi and the distinguished inventor James Dyson.

United Kingdom
  • Faceted Navigation
  • Concierge

Challenges and Objectives

The Solution

Beginning their relationship with Funnelback in 2013, UAL is no stranger to our technology, its capabilities and the problems it can help solve. Initially implementing a global site search, covering the entirety of their varied web-estate, the institution haven’t looked back since. Working with our in-house consultancy and technical teams, they have gone on to task Funnelback with creating a bespoke course finder tool, as well as examining and evaluating opportunities for search to answer user experience challenges.

One such challenge was to not only help increase the visibility of the existing catalogue of scholarships open to students, but to also help the same students quickly and easily discover if they are eligible to apply.

Offering over 80 scholarships, each with numerous conditions outlining eligibility (dependent on the level of study, the College a student is attending, their course subject, course title, country of origin and time of year), the current system of listing scholarships was not only difficult for visitors to be able to scan, but even more difficult for students to discover which scholarship(s) they could be eligible for.

This is where UAL saw the value of Funnelback. Having already proved effective in connecting visitors with the most relevant information at a global website search level, as well as a more granular course level, they tasked Funnelback with doing the same for their scholarship programme and set a goal of improving user experience and increasing page views.

The Scholarships Search tool has made a hugely positive contribution to a user’s ability to find the scholarships, bursaries and awards that they might be eligible for. The team at Funnelback are all experts in their field. They worked hard to develop a solution that exceeded our objectives in a very short timeframe, putting user needs at the forefront of their developments at every stage."

Steph Upton, Head of Marketing, UAL

The Result

Having previously existed as an A-Z list, a visitor would need to either know the exact name of the scholarship they were looking for, or would have to wade through over 80 options to find the best fit for them. By making the information more accessible, Funnelback helped transform a once static page into a dynamic and responsive search module.

Sitting on the same entry point as the previous list, we worked with the development team at UAL who created a parametric search widget tool, allowing users to search by their course focus, course name, College or scholarship name should they know it; or alternatively to view all the scholarships the university offers before further filtering.

UAL search entry point

Once on the search-landing page, visitors then have the ability to filter their results using facets relating to their type of study (undergraduate, postgraduate), course focus, region of residence, College; or alternatively to instead utilise the Concierge capability (built into the search) to guide them to their most relevant pages.

UAL faceted navigation on landing page

Split into three columns, the Concierge offers suggested results for general terms, course names and scholarships as the user inputs their query.

The Concierge in the UAL search interface

Guiding the user from the moment they enter a letter helps narrow their focus to the results relevant to them. It also shortens the user journey by allowing a user to jump from suggestions to results without the extra step of viewing a landing page.

Offering users more control to intuitively search and filter has not only made finding the most relevant scholarships on offer easier, but has in turn improved user experience and discoverability which is reflected in an impressive uptake of page views.

Since its launch in February 2016, the scholarships search has received over 260,000 search queries, which have led to almost 165,000 page views to the resulting scholarship web pages.

This equates to a massive 57% increase in the number of page views from the same period in 2015 and subsequently a very happy and satisfied team at both Funnelback and UAL!

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