July 2022 - September 2022
UX Researcher as part of increasing alumni engagement
The Client: University of Florida,
Digital Worlds Institute
Team from Digital Worlds
Digital Worlds Institute is a/an dedicated undergraduate program that needs to improve its alumni engagement because alumni currently lack information and support.
HMW PROBLEM STATEMENT
How might we...?
How might we support students’ mental health and interpersonal skills?
How can we engage with local events to improve our alumni portfolio showcase?
How might we generate an environment of engagement and growth between alumni and current students?
Overview of 4 Research Findings
Broaden mental health /career counselling
(3/7 users interviewed mentioned the need for workforce on this; it took 1–2 months to get counseling despite the demand, and some interviewees didn't even know there was a counseling program)
Offering Alumni perks
(Alumni can also benefit from school growth and continuing education for discounted rates)
Connect with Alumni through social media
(Currently, they’ve mostly connected through Discord but only 6% of alumni are on there)
Keep an up-to-date database
(Harvard, USC, and Calarts use Almabase to keep up with alumni data; when social gatherings happen, this database will be a great help. 6/7 users interviewed agreed)
FINDING #1: BROADEN MENTAL HEALTH/CAREER COUNSELLING
#1 Broaden Mental Health/Career Counseling
A sustained approach is needed for long-term success
Constant consultation for mental health and feeling that you are not alone in the career process is important.
Planing consultation schedules
Hiring a workforce for the counseling department to create approachable student counseling services.
I recommend executing this in the short term and making sure the institution is committed to the long-term outcomes.
FINDING # 2: OFFER ALUMNI PERKS
#2 Offer Alumni Perks
Alumni relationships with their alma mater should not be one-way
Effective alumni outreach should include offers of professional and personal support, such as professional networking events and career services, continuing education opportunities, and use of campus facilities.
UF doesn’t have to spend money on a venue
The school has already built a brand-new innovative hub and technology lab, gear, and collaboration from local companies.
Connect alumni via reunions, directories, and technology.
Offer continuing education in graduates’ career fields or provide other general learning opportunities including: speaking events, competitions, panels, speeches, retreats, mentoring, or student body events and seminars.
Acquire a reasonable budget
The University of Florida has to spend money to make money.
Many of the strategies above require an upfront investment, but ultimately, if alumni are to be a priority for universities, the budget must reflect this commitment. If done well, the long-term payoff will be immense.
The survey was conducted from November 1, 2019, to January 15, 2020 and received 577 responses by voice interview and online survey instrument.
(VAESE Alumni Engagemen Report, https://www.alumniaccess.com)
FINDING # 3: CONNECT WITH ALUMNI THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
#3 Connect With Alumni Through Social Media
Digital Worlds Google traffic analytic reports
Audience interests reveal key details on the browsing interests of digitalworlds.ufl.edu's visitors.
digitalworlds.ufl.edu's audience interests
Computers Electronics and Technology > Social Media Networks & social network.
DWI's Facebook Group has only 120 members.
LinkedIn does not even cover more than 6% of 2000 graduate students and cannot be representative of the majority of students yet.
Alumni engagement Social Media Popularity : Discord > Twitter > Facebook > Instagram
Mostly focus on alumni job posting and sharing news; however, currently only 6% of the people are in the group.
Reach out to the rest of the alumni and make sure they all engaged with the same platform to be heard and seen.
Keyword Search Traffic
See the list of top organic keywords driving traffic to digitalworlds.ufl.edu.(On Desktop, Worldwide) from app traffic analyze report