A surge in creativity is influencing the younger cohort to look for fresh, authentic, and purpose-led education flow and experiences. This digitally savvy generation of students is now being driven by cultural and societal shifts. They are propelled by a desire to express themselves creatively and authentically.
Holidays are the time to bring in a more nuanced engagement to relate with the highly connected students who are driving the rise in local popular culture, bringing online communities together with a mix of hyperlocal mindsets and global social-media influences.
We identified the 5 ways to lift up the higher's education's digital space with holiday-centric UX strategies. These strategies are based on the newly adopted digital habits which higher education institutes must understand to effectively implement going forward.
Embrace culture fluency
Education knows no boundaries and that's exactly why higher education institutes should engage through culture and creativity with the geographically diverse GenZs. The students engaging on the higher education websites come from varying preferences across different regions and are strongly driven by authentic experiences that resonate in a culturally relevant way. Holidays are the right time to experiment with creative engagement while tapping into the right UX ideas through activism, music, and pop culture-defining new cultural narratives. To truly resonate, institutes need to support emerging talent and cultures across their own borders.
It’s Your Yale is 47 websites under one roof and is designed to be more inclusive and culturally relevant.
Strengthen the power of purpose
Education is seeing a rise of a more balanced attitude that's led to measures grades beyond just performance metrics. To serve the generation of today and tomorrows’ digital campuses are now bound to be more fun, social, purposeful where UX is more than slick aesthetics and fun pages. These are platforms to learn but on-the-top to find like-minded communities and share knowledge. Higher education institutes should make that experiential shift to more socially native narratives such as LGBTQ+, singing, dancing, mental wellness, environment, gender, and pronoun culture that address the evolving purpose of education within fast-changing GenZ minds.
A group of Harvard students marches down Boylston Street as a part of the Boston Pride Parade.
The post-covid class has had all of its milestones canceled, rescheduled, or moved online, with video sessions, drive-in graduation ceremony experiences, and Instagram yearbooks. More attention is being placed on the value of hope, empathy, and UX that evokes optimism. During holidays and beyond higher education websites should focus on preserving the role of hope, positivity and make that more than just one act of kindness to an all-around-the-year experience. Holidays come the opportunity to provide access to online resources for those in need, keeping people connected and adding value that goes beyond enrollment and engagement to foster long-term loyalty and respect among the students.
University of Oxford’s scholarship program page for low-income students in the UK.
Turn to virtual
The next generation of higher education can’t be anything but immersive and leveraging virtual reality to put students in the world they’re studying. Higher education institutes will need to enhance learning experiences through smart technologies to meet the educational needs of their students. Create experiences based on AI for capturing, reading, and adapting to the student's behavior. Chatbots and personalized experiences could guide students to get the required information without rummaging through pages serving students’ reduced attention span and the emerging I want to learn it all attitude.
Engage through gamification
Blur the lines between education and entertainment through gamification to transform digital campuses into social, engaging, collaborative, and immersive experiences. In education, gamification is an approach that applies friendly competition beyond studies and curriculum that eventually becomes more engaging and entertaining. Holidays are the best time of the year for launching some gamified higher ed platforms that are set to have a positive impact on students' engagement and motivation, social connectivity, and crucially, their academic achievement.
About 2,700 Ball State University students use the app to engage via social streams, take little campus tours as a group, earn all the location achievements together.
Students enrolling in higher education are immersed in technology, leveraging it for all instant communication and already reaping the benefits that the online world can bring, that exposure makes them have had greater expectations around higher education platforms and their offers.
GenZs drive the shift in the education system through activism and purpose. In the post covid era when they choose an institute, it's more about learning models switching from structural and cultural, to engaging, visual, gamified, and omnichannel experiences. Experiential and personalized learning also offers hands-on experiences that engage students.
In addition to that handle their data with care, make sure regulations and laws on privacy are met. Communicate the use of data to the students with transparency, explaining with clarity the process behind data usage, protection, and cancellation.
Choose holidays to give the gift of power to the students while they actively participate on the website, rethink the role of higher education websites as the educator, mentor, inspiration, activist, and guide.
Talk to our team of design and technology experts to turn these holiday-centric UX strategies into digital experiences that go 2022 and beyond.