William Paterson University

Case Study

William Paterson University

WPU is a repeat client – their latest cycle came at the three-year mark and was driven by messaging requirements from Admissions.

I was engaged by WPU’s marketing agency, Fuseideas, which was in the process of updating the branding and marketing strategy for the university. The new brand – Will. Power. – became the catalyst to amp up how the university describes the academic experience at WPU in the context of career opportunities (really measurable student outcomes). The web discovery phase was compressed to four weeks, piggy-backing off brand development. It focused on: a wellness check of the site structure; a heuristic review of competing and aspirational higher-ed sites; and, a laying of groundwork for future site personalization.

The overarching goal was to cause students to see themselves as becoming successful at WPU. Key to this objective was:

  • Inclusion of “proof points” to support the academic quality/positioning message (backed by nationally recognized and noteworthy programs)
  • Emphasis on outcomes
  • Leveraging the Will. Power. brand to help students see and achieve their potential.

An interesting aside for those who work regularly in the world of higher-ed, the critically important department tasked with enrolling students is alternately called “Admissions” or “Admission”. Every college and university has a preference, with a well thought-out rationale for whether they employ the third “s” or not. I learned over a decade ago that the choice is not open to debate, that clients become grumpy if the wrong term is used, and that it’s usually better to ask than to guess.

Tasks & Deliverables

  • Stakeholder interviews with key departments
  • Heuristic review of WPUNJ and related sites (Landscape Analysis)
  • Site structure wellness check and proposed site map changes
  • Wireframes
  • Functionality annotations

Similar Projects & Clients

  • Boston College (Admission)
  • Dean College (Admissions)
  • Dominican College (Admissions)
  • Goucher College (Admissions)
  • Hamilton College (Admission)
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  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences (Admission)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Admissions)
  • Norfolk State University (Admissions)
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Work Samples