Monday, 24 February 2014

Maybe we don't need a Careers Service website

I've thought a lot in the past about how careers services present themselves on the web, and starting in Bristol has given me the opportunity to think about this with a considerable sense of urgency.

After a meeting with Urfan and Ben from our web team on Friday I had the rather radical thought that perhaps we shouldn't have a Careers Service website at all. Let me explain...

Anyone who's give much thought to web architecture and user experience knows that the starting point for a site should never be the organisational structure but rather what the users of the site actually need/want from the service. So I mocked up a site on Google Sites (I might share it some other time) which I tried to base on user journeys rather than organisational structure, This got me thinking about things from an institutional perspective - in having a Careers Service website maybe I would just be doing the same thing at a different level i.e. creating a website around an organisational structure and so reinforcing organisational silos rather than thinking about things from the student persepctive. Instead of a Careers Service site perhaps we need a 'Help me get to where I want to be when I graduate' site, which is a lot broader and pulls in a much greater breadth of services and student experience (although clearly the name needs some work!).

Having said that, the Careers Service needs a profile and an identity in order to encourage student engagement with it, so I'm not sure I entirely agree ith myself; just thinking out loud.

I'd be interested in your thoughts though.

More to follow...


  1. I don't agree that Careers Service doesn't need a website - that stems from the fact that young people are going digital and an online presence is the first step in building trust. But I do agree with the idea of scraping the organisational structure of how the website should look - I always use the example of Sports Direct and Apple - SD would have the same look whether you bought trainers or a shirt or even a bike but it would be too cluttered - in a way affecting my attention span (which a lot of university website architecture looks like - too many things to click on). Whilst Apple sells as well- but the website is clean and de-cluttered - it makes me focus on what is in-front of me and wants me to buy it (which a lot of university websites don't focus on).

    In this age - young people don't just want information, they want it presented beautifully on a plate. Hope that was sort of clear.

    1. Thanks Faiz. I think we're in agreement. And yes, less is definitely more