UI/UX / Mobile App Design
Changing perceptions of boarding schools and increasing the number of applicants
The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) created a program designed to grow their enrollments in member schools by 2,020 enrollments by the year 2020. This program – the North American Boarding Initiative (NABI) – is driven by a digital focus led by SJ&P.
We created an empowering and evocative brand platform called “Ready For More?” that is both a challenge and a declaration. The look and feel is designed with colors to evoke awareness and alertness, while driving an explorer brand archetype that invites visitors to discover content most relevant to them. The website is clean, modular and is anchored by design thinking that drives engagement.
Based on in-depth research, the campaign was initially launched with a six-week pilot directing to a single landing page, with the goal of targeting prospective parents and students separately through online and social advertising. SJ&P drew on the strategic insights derived from the pilot to build out the full website, which launched in October 2017.
Through our research, we learned how successful boarding school students were usually the ones who sought out the experience, bringing the idea to their parents. Our insight came once we tested this student-parent dynamic: if a student asked their parent, 54% would consider boarding school.
We developed a two-pronged campaign: one aimed at students aged 13–16 and other at their parents. For both audiences, campaign content had to strike a balance between the academic (superior college placement) and emotional well-being (happiness, optimism, relationships) advantages offered at boarding schools.
The resulting campaign, Ready For More?, differentiated boarding school from other day, private and public school environments by promising more of what students and parents want in an education experience: more opportunites to try new things, more time with teachers, more adventure in and out of the classroom, more diverse friendships, more independence, etc.
In the first five weeks since launching the site, there were over 263,000 visits from highly engaged users, with 92 percent visiting on a mobile device, and more than 305,000 page views overall. The site generated over 304 qualified leads worth up to $48 million in tuition revenue.
With the success of the pilot, phase 2 sprint featured a custom-built school finder for users to discover schools that might be a fit for them. User experience, especially on mobile devices, was kept top of mind. The school profile used thoughtful design elements to organize and prioritize key information so users could easily scan the page ensuring the rich content isn’t overwhelming.