In 2019, Södertörn University’s website was awarded the Publishing Prize. In 2020, IDG named it Sweden’s top education website.
Kenneth Wall, director of communications at Södertörn University, congratulations! What does winning this award mean to you?
“Thank you! Building a new website for a university is a huge undertaking, as it is a complex project that involves a lot of people and continual improvements, so never really ends. Receiving this kind of recognition, confirming that we have done a good job, is fantastic for everyone involved. It brings enthusiasm, pride, and motivation to keep developing the website. I’d like to pass on your congratulations to all the university staff who have done such a great job, and still are.”
Transforming your website started back in 2017. What were the project’s objectives?
“We have a range of objectives but, overall, the website should provide answers to the most common questions asked by our target groups. It should also make students’ decision-making processes easier, primarily our prospective students. After all, no one visits a website without having a reason to do so. Also, one of our objectives was that the website should clearly communicate the university’s profile.”
Do you have tips for anyone wanting to make a success of digital communication?
“That’s a big question. There’s no simple answer but, using our work on the website as a basis, my advice is to spend a lot of time on target group analysis and to create impact goals in addition to your project objectives, based on the issues the website is intended to address. Be agile and run tests with target groups.
“The steering committee should have a mandate to make decisions that are supported by academic and administrative staff. Involve all the expertise within your communications unit. Also, things are easier if you have a digital strategy and a strategy for communication channels before work begins.”
When the university won the 2019 Publishing Prize for best website in the information category, the citation read: “For a well-developed site with a creative menu solution, good search function and excellent navigation in mobile”.
This year, the site has been named Sweden’s Best Education Site by IDG’s Top 100, with the citation: “Rebuilding a site from scratch should not be underestimated; it’s a lot of work. In addition, rebuilding it not only to look better or “smarter” but to actually focus on user-friendliness is, unfortunately, not a given. However, Södertörn University has done its best to make the site easy to navigate and provide everything that existing and prospective students might need. There is even a great FAQ section with information about all the practical issues you may need help with, such as various technical questions and how exams are marked, which must have prevented a whole lot of swearing and head scratching.”
The website is created using SiteVision, supported by Soleil and Advant web agencies.
Visit the Södertörn University site.