University of Portsmouth

From attracting undergraduate students to world-renowned research talent, the University of Portsmouth was looking to develop a customer-centric experience on its content-rich site.

Following a competitive tender process, Tangent was appointed by the University of Portsmouth to develop its digital strategy. The project saw the Tangent research team relocate to the seaside city for three weeks to interview over 150 internal stakeholders and customers. This allowed us to gather over 200 user requirements for the new website and align them to the university’s business objectives.
As we spoke with more students, we quickly realised that creating personas was not the best approach for the project. The needs students expressed in interviews went beyond any demographic data, and grouping them in different customer 'buckets' could potentially lead us to a flawed solution.
Using the 'jobs to be done' framework, we identified the purpose and key motivations in a student's decision-making process.

User Flows

From our interviews, we uncovered 100+ behaviours behind 'why' and 'how' students choose universities.
This lead us to grouping customers on the needs the University of Portsmouth would have to meet to influence their choice, synthesising these behaviours into 17 different archetypes.

Archetype Examples

The Socialiser

This archetype focuses on the social aspect of university life. They’re primarily looking to meet new people and have a good time throughout their degree. They also tend to be the centre of attention and want their voice to be heard.

The Career Pursuer

The career pursuer understands the importance of having a good career and often shows entrepreneurial flair. They will base their University decision around a specific course, and one that will present them with opportunities to progress.

The Gym Bunny

The Gym Bunny is a sports enthusiast who’s looking to give themselves the best opportunities at progressing with their specialist sport(s), and wants to continually achieve at a high level.
Whilst the University was developing their new brand, Tangent conducted a digital competitive analysis, mapped out current customer journeys and new user flows.
We also delivered user experience reports, provided a site content audit of top performing pages, lead a number of workshops, and produced and tested a new site map.

Strategy and Principles

The final output of this research & discovery project was a strategy presentation which detailed the challenges, aspirations, focus areas and guiding principles that should steer the following phases of the project.

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