Is Friction affecting your candidates' college application experience?

Last week, one of our customers shared an article with us that (1) describes their biggest pain point, (2) how that pain is translated into different areas of friction, and (3) how they see Mutara's products helping them. 

We felt it would make an excellent blog post.

What do you mean by friction?

"Considering Gen Z-ers have an average attention span of just 8 seconds, navigating to multiple pages could potentially cause a prospect to lose interest and leave your site"

In prior blog posts, we described how engagement is critical to meeting admissions goals.  The author takes this further, highlighting different points where friction intersects with the prospective candidate’s relationship with an institution.  These can be organized into two main categories:

  • User Interface Challenges
  • User Experience Challenges

Many people may say that these two are one and the same. However, there are a number of key differences between the two.

User Experience Challenges 

These challenges are rooted in the fact that different candidates have different backgrounds and goals – and that the experience presented them should take that into account.

  • Create persona and program-specific experiences (such as landing pages that pull together content)
  • Optimal application experiences focused on each type of prospective students’ journey. Techniques could include:
    • Determining what to ask for when -- especially as it relates to personal information
    • Providing process information (current status, deadlines)
    • Providing contextual help during the process through information and chat

Because you can't accomplish this with a one-size-fits-all approach, our customers start with a design thinking workshop that helps identify, rank, and incorporate persona-related requirements into our software -- ensuring that the process is optimized for each type of candidate.

User Interface Challenges

User interface challenges are more general in nature.  They relate to how to apply technology to ensure that the user experience is engaging.  This includes the following:

  • Modern Mobile/Responsive interface
  • WCAG 2.1 / Accessible interface
  • Appropriate use of colors and iconography
  • Fast response times
  • Manageable forms

These are the fundamental requirements for any modern web-based application.

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