UCLA EXTENSION HIRES XCELACORE TO OPTIMIZE WEBSITE UX;
STUDENT ENROLLMENTS INCREASE
UCLA is recognized as one of higher education’s elite brands. For nearly a century, UCLA has produced some of the world’s top thought leaders from math and science to technology and the arts. UCLA Extension is the university’s global continuing education arm, and the path for prospective students to start or explore new careers in fast-growing fields.
As the continuing education arm, as UCLA Extension grows, so too does the demand for a solid online presence. With a switch from a homegrown platform to a third-party SaaS solution earlier in 2016, UCLA Extension saw a measurable drop in online enrollment during the second quarter. Was it due in part to the platform switch? Or, were there breaks in the user experience that were causing fewer enrollments? Again, UCLA Extension turned to Xcelacore to define the problem and offer solutions.
HOW XCELACORE SOLVED THE CHALLENGE
Xcelacore viewed this challenge from two different angles:
- Analytics Deep-Dive – Xcelacore professionals dove into the site analytics to define breaks in behavior before the platform switch and after the switch. Although the experience between the two platforms wasn’t parallel, a pattern of behavior began to emerge based on the deep-dive into analytics.
- UI/UX Exploration – Xcelacore drew on more than 20 years of e-commerce and online experience to identify breaks in the intuitive UI/UX path which was then underscored by behaviors gleaned from the analytics.
Xcelacore provided a step-by-step page analysis and recommendation for optimizing each step in the enrollment process, with the ultimate objective of increasing conversions.
Based on the recommendations, UCLA Extension was able to positively impact the conversion path by implementing the following strategies:
- Shortened the enrollment process by three pages
- Optimized navigation by refactoring the home page and course pages based upon user behaviors gleaned from the analytics
- Optimized content based on user behaviors, including course and program discovery
- Improved SEO including page titling and tagging for increased organic traffic
“Xcelacore does great work with integrity.”
– Radhika Seshan | COO and Associate Dean
“At the project kick-off meeting, Xcelacore partner mentioned the new search will be a game changer for UCLA Extension, I am very excited to say that they have delivered on their promise.”
– Wayne Smutz, Ph.D. | Dean