The Admissions Recruitment team at the University of Kentucky College of Arts &Sciences wanted to take student recruitment to the next level by enhancing the information-sharing process. Their concept was to replace printed handouts with 2-in-1 tablets loaded with interactive course content and videos, enabling recruiters to showcase academic programs, college life and student testimonials at college fairs and other off-campus events. This interactivity would better immerse prospective students in real stories of academic excellence, creating more lasting impressions and thus a greater interest in their school.
Content would address the most popular majors at the College as well as other areas of study that typically garner lower attention rates. Sharing information through interactive means stood to facilitate diversification of enrollment by major and to increase overall admissions.
Scott Bradley, Director of IT, and Scott May, Web/Application Developer, would lead the initiative by selecting the appropriate portable, touch-screen device and programming admissions content in an intuitively interactive way.
In the University’s 2015-2022 Strategic Plan, recruitment was cited as an area for strategic investment. However, this specific project had not yet been budgeted. To keep costs down, the IT team needed to find affordable, interactive devices that would allow for video playback with seamless touch interaction.
This meant the IT team, responsible for delivery of the recruitment application, would have to select hardware before considering software - a risky proposition.
Recruiters also wanted to share information on demand, whether in the middle of a one-on-one meeting or at an off-site event. This meant the interactive content needed to be available whether or not an Internet connection was present. Local storage of content was thus critical.
Chrome devices were ultimately selected. Bradley said, “It really came down to screen size and price. The original spec from our recruitment office called for a tablet type device with at least an 18” display which was almost impossible to come by. There was one product out there that was a tablet device with that size display, but it was impossible to come by and looked like maybe it was discontinued. Once we decided that wasn’t really an option, we considered the IPad pro and looked at 2-in-1 devices. The 13” seemed to be about as large a display you could find in a 2-in-1 and those models weren’t beyond our budget. The IPad pro is pretty much the same size 12.9” but the price was what really removed it from contention. The Dell 2 in 1 Chromebook was the right size, and at the right price for our purposes.”
But what about content creation and delivery? Development of touch interactions on Chrome tended to require substantial coding. The Admissions Recruitment team already had an existing suite of content prepared by the University’s video team, so there was no need for graphic design or content curation. However, turning this raw content into a well-designed, intuitive, and professional pitch necessitated both design freedom and a quick learning curve to minimize delivery time.
Both Bradley and May already had experience with Intuiface via a project led by the Intuiface Creative Expert Momentum. The success of that project - 22 Windows-based displays in the University’s Science Building - encouraged Bradley to explore Intuiface’s native Chrome support.
Bradley referred to the affordability and ease of design offered by Intuiface. He said, “As one of the easiest to use design tools we had ever experienced, we knew Intuiface would be the best fit for this project if we could create the recruiting application for Chrome. As it turns out, we could. The affordability of Intuiface licenses solidified this decision.”
Development of the interactive application proved seamless with Intuiface and required no coding. The apps could be used offline thanks to local storage. And deployment was a breeze. “We used Google’s Chrome Device Management on the Chromebooks. From there, adding Intuiface Player simply required a few setting updates. It was extremely easy and required very little time testing,” said Scott May who headed up the app development.
The IT team was able to move forward with their device-first approach since Intuiface enabled app development for Chrome OS. This kept costs down and the timeline short. The recruiting team was provided with the interactive devices and applications they had hoped for, well before the launch of recruiting season.
“When we met with the Recruiting team to show the initial project, they were extremely excited about it,” said Bradley. “The prospective student comes up and our team can show prentations on humanities, natural science, social studies and other areas of study. Within each category, a group of majors are shown with easy navigation tools. In each major, the user can access stories from other students who are studying in that academic program. They can freely explore while having the support from our recruiters. Our recruitment team can empower these upcoming scholars to choose their own path.”
Moving forward, the IT team plans to explore Intuiface’s analytics capability. The recruiting team could use data-based insights to identify which majors are the most popular and how much time a prospective student spends exploring each major. Monitoring the interactions can assist with development of new recruitment strategies and processes, as well as more personalized follow-up strategies.