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21/10/2014

New Website for Blackburn College

Fat Media have this month launched a brand new website for Ofsted rated ‘outstanding’ Blackburn College. We were incredibly excited to be asked to work on a complete redevelopment of the existing website and after meeting the College marketing team we couldn’t wait to get started on the project.
 
At the heart of the College is an impressive £65 million Student Village which gave us a fantastic insight into not only the facilities on offer but also the ambitions of the College; which we wanted to reflect within the new website.
The College, which has a heritage going back 125 years, delivers courses from Entry Level up to Masters Level to 16,000 full and part-time students from across the globe. With an audience ranging from 16-18 year olds, university students and adults to international students and employers as well as the wider Blackburn community, it was essential that the website navigation was clear and well structured.

The development focused on a mega menu design, divided by the key audience sectors with optional CTA (calls to actions) which allows visitors to find the content they are looking for quickly and easily. A key feature of the site is a bespoke ‘course browser’ which allows visitors to search for any course across the college and click straight through to the full course information.

We have created a new intuitive application system which automatically builds each application form when the visitor selects their chosen area of study. The new system quickens the steps needed to apply for a place at the college and allows applications to be submitted across multiple devices. Other call to action features on the site include a prospectus viewer, new online enquiry form and VIP tour booking option.

The website design focuses on fusing elements of the Blackburn College brand with some of the fantastic photography and video work which has been created at the College. A particularly engaging element of the design is a unique ‘Life in’ section of the site which showcases life in each subject area for example, Hair & Beauty or Business Studies and highlights career progression routes and the benefits of studying at Blackburn College.

There are also case studies across each subject area, a news and events section and a blog; each of which can be customised and displayed to the correct target audience, specifically within their section on the website.

Finally, an innovative ‘social wall’ brings together all Blackburn College’s posts across channels such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Pinterest into once place through an automatically tagged social feed.

Graham Parsonage, Webmaster at Blackburn College feels the project has been a great success, he said:"Fat Media have worked with the College Marketing Team to redevelop the Blackburn College Website, creating front end designs and implementing these designs in the Umbraco Content Management System. They have also worked with the College to troubleshoot deployment issues in a timely and effective manner alongside providing valuable guidance on running and managing digital marketing campaigns; which has included the effective use of analytics and paid search.

The staff have been professional, friendly and helpful. We have liaised with two dedicated members of staff throughout who have dealt with our questions and requests in a timely and effective way. I would have no hesitation in recommending their services.”

Visit the new site here: www.blackburn.ac.uk