DCU Business School
“As an institution, DCU Business School needs to be seen as evolving in concert with modern business practices. The quality of our online representation is a big part of that, both in its functionality and in its design. Marla Communications had the ideal blend of creativity and professionalism to help us achieve this”
– Ciara Feeney, Marketing & Research, DCU Business School.
Opportunity / Challenge
The team at DCU Business School were first motivated to redevelop their website by two key issues: cost & control. They found their previous website developer to be quite expensive in general. This was exacerbated by the ongoing cost of site updates, which DCU had to pay the developer to implement. The team at DCU Business School assessed several companies before establishing that we (Márla Communications) were the web design team best matched to their requirements.
The creation of a new website for DCU Business School represented a substantial challenge to us on several fronts. Through our dialogue with DCU we understood that this was a site to be used by a variety of stakeholders for myriad purposes. Perspective students of school leaving age, post grads, career developers, those on executive programmes, and of course faculty; all needed the site to meet their functional needs.
This variety in user demographic would also present a challenge from the perspective of graphic design. Of course it was important that it was engaging to undergraduates who would represent a large segment of those applying to attend DCU Business School. However, this requirement needed to be balanced with the user experience of a broader age group, whose level of intuitiveness for web navigation might differ from the younger cohort.
There needed to be a user-friendly facility to regularly update the site with rich content to support the experience of the many stakeholders. It was vital that our web design provided the infrastructure and guidance to ensure that the staff at DCU had a website that was flexible enough to meet their changing needs, but intuitive enough that it would not require tech experts to update.
Our web developers set about building a site for DCU Business School from scratch. We addressed the issues of control and cost by ensuring that we created a web design that could be edited easily by the team at DCU. We supported this by providing some invaluable WordPress training to the staff.
An extensive database of faculty also needed to be created, which would allow staff to be categorised through their affiliation with certain programmes. Given that courses and programmes are ever evolving at a university, it was also crucial that this database also be manageable in-house. This level of control would have positive implications on running costs, having negated the need to outsource potentially costly tasks.
Our graphic design team collaborated closely with both the clients and our back-end team to ensure that visually, each element of the site was appropriate to its user profile. It was also important that the overall web design demonstrated a confluence of professionalism and pro-active optimism, in keeping with the ethos of the institution.
Sarah Coleman, Marketing Communications Officer at DCU Business School, has seen substantial changes in the level of engagement possible since the launch of the new website. “Due to the ability to add content in house, particularly rich content like videos, we have been able to engage users far above and beyond what was achievable previously”.
DCU Business School continue with what they describe as their “partnership” with Márla Communications. They are currently working with our web design team on updates to further increase the engagement with their target audiences. Sarah assured us that she would be quick to recommend us to any organisation. She cited qualities of responsiveness, collaboration, and professionalism as key elements of her appreciation. The key factor for Sarah however, in her own words, is that “…Márla have the skills and professionalism to achieve what they promise, simply put – they deliver”.