Challenge: The year 2004 marked the elimination of grade thirteen from the Ontario high-school board curriculum. Top tear universities, Canada wide, needed to improve their marketing outreach and respond to the largest influx of high school student in decades.
At the time, universities barely had an online presence (when compared to now), and university websites were not interactive client/learning relation management systems, but rather, focused on simply presenting information. In fact to give an idea of the times, when we conducted a market analysis in 2003, to further understand the problem, we found that between 1999-2003 an average of only 91% of student had access to the internet before attending McMaster University. We also discovered that the trend was increasing and the demand for smart-interactive website content was certainly trending upwards.
Solution: We proposed the development of an interactive virtual tour. The virtual tour had to be designed lean enough to deal with the fact that on average, only 73% of students had access to high speed internet (more than 56K). In order to roll-out the interactive functionality we had planned, we developed the VR tour in Macromedia Flash, before it became Adobe Flash (now implemented by YouTube video broadcasting). We captured thousands of photographs and created an interactive environment based on the original university campus map. Everything from libraries, residence, shops and stores, athletics and recreation, natural surroundings, student services, parking (etc.), were presented in a lightweight contemporary digital environment..
Result: McMaster had the highest enrolment in its history. Another added value was that when students arrived at school, they could use the map as a tool to become acquainted with the campus.
Skills Needed: Large scale institutional level technology project management and development, Flash Action Scripting, website design, photography, user interface design, usability testing, demographic research.
Location(s): Hamilton Ontario
Budget Range: 25-30K
Team: Morgan Rauscher
Partners: McMaster University