On the tree-lined driveway to the Royal Agricultural University, it is clear why the RAU prides itself on its history and heritage. A leader in agricultural education since 1845, its tradition and reputation should be celebrated, but there is more to this university. This is a modern university at the cutting edge of land-based industries. “Forward thinking & traditional” was the first principle for the redevelopment of the RAU’s website.
Clarity & simplicity
By simplifying the information architecture we have concentrated the site on the key areas of information, with University life being promoted to this top level and the design approach clearing the way for a focus on content.
Royal Agricultural University homepage
Promoting the “RAU experience”
In user workshops it became apparent that studying at the RAU is a unique experience. “Homely”, “community”, “friendly”, “diversity” were a few words that came up again and again. It was clear that the rural setting of this University, the facilities offered and the way of life made the RAU stand out.
Promoting the RAU experience
We have brought these unique aspects of the RAU experience to life, answering the key question “what is it like to be a student at the RAU?”. Using testimonial blocks throughout the site, the site is instantly humanised: real students telling real life stories about their experience at the university.
Focus on the most important users and task completion
Making it easy for users to find the information they want was key to the success of the new website. Teaser components and strong calls to action were created and encouraged to be used throughout the site, guiding the user through the site, whether that be through actions intended to be taken, or to other pages that are likely to be of interest.
Royal Agricultural University's undergraduate page
This is the beginning, not the end
The launch of the RAU’s website is an achievement we are really proud of and it is already holding its own and performing well. But this is not the end of the journey. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Jess and the team, enhancing the website and working on future projects.
"The Royal Agricultural University required a brand new website, to effectively compete in the global higher education market. We wanted a responsive, easy to navigate, beautifully designed website, with the opportunity to showcase enhanced content relating to our unique specialist university. Torchbox created such a site through their ‘user first’ approach, which involved an impressive amount of scoping with our stakeholders in order to understand our core audience. Armed with this research, they have created a website which engages our users and provides them with the best possible experience."– Jessica Taylor, Head of Marketing and Student Recruitment, Royal Agricultural University