MethodYour World Your Way
Submission # 157
Digital Design – Toi Matihiko
Identity – People & Culture
Identity – Place
Auckland, Tāmaki Makaurau
The initial COVID-19 restrictions of early 2020 meant the University’s usual recruitment programme of visiting high schools and reaching out to prospective students face-to-face was no longer feasible. With a digital business model already a strategic priority, the university was in a position to accelerate the need for a unique digital experience, they required an immediate solution with long-term considerations.
The University’s digital team reached out to Method after viewing some of our earlier work with Unitec and Torrens universities, they knew they wanted to take advantage of emerging technologies and the immediate objective for Method was to create an interactive experience to engage with prospective students — to start them thinking about a future with the University of Auckland.
It was imperative that we collaborated early on with the University’s Māori and Pasifika faculties to ensure we were co-designing a truly representative experience. It needed to foster a positive connection and association to the University, and to Tāmaki Makaurau as an option to live and study. The experience also needed to be fun, clear and intuitive, with the ability to get to the right information quickly.
The long-term project aim was to create a fully immersive experience that can be used to engage and recruit prospective students. One that is unique and wholly engaging to all target audiences. That has a holistic approach with a bigger picture view in mind rather than short term, disparate campaigns.
Life at The University of Auckland has so much to offer. It goes beyond the academic reputation, educational and career opportunities. There’s a diverse range of amazing opportunities across education, social engagement, community involvement, cultural connection, world-class lecturers, and career development, all housed in a metropolitan, buzzing, rich, diverse and interesting city.
With all this in mind, The University of Auckland offers an unmatched higher-level education opportunity to be had in New Zealand. Equally important, however, is what the individual students bring to the university to make it what it is. Their unique strengths, characteristics, background, culture, interests, sense of community, ambition, and sense of self feed into the University’s world.
This is a chance to explore and grow themselves even further. To connect with the University of Auckland and to explore their possibilities on their own terms. All this without losing sight of who they are and their own unique identity but to amplify it and add value – from your world, to ours.
During our discussions and workshops, we found great insights that followed the recurring themes of people and place (tūrangawaewae). The key here was to tie these in together and how a Māori and Pasifika world view helps to naturally enable this.
We created a rich, immersive, interactive, and layered online experience that prospective students can explore and become a part of – at their own pace and through the touchpoints that interest and engage them.
The online virtual world uses a personalisation quiz to reshape the experience to suit each visitor, assembling a virtual tableau reflecting their most appealing version of Tāmaki Makaurau and the University of Auckland. The interface groups together all the things that matter most to that visitor’s potential tertiary journey; for example course and enrolment information, Māori and Pasifika views on the University experience, extra-curricular activities, and accommodation and transport options.
A 3D object represents each area of information. In addition to bringing colour and personality to the interface, the exploration of these objects encourages deeper engagement and more time spent on the page. Making use of the university’s existing content, Your World Your Way presents a fresh, dynamic tool that feels aligned with the personalised, face-to-face engagement of a campus visit. It is also built for growth, developing and evolving to create an even richer online experience.
We wanted to ensure the experience caters to every part of the visitor – no matter their background or their culture. We want them to feel at home and we ensured that what they needed for this was represented within the world. Ultimately, we wanted to show them a tailored view of what their world at the University of Auckland might look like.
An outstanding approach towards helping the next generation of students understand themselves now, their future direction, and their place in the world.
The experience does so well to guide a wavering mind towards a path that creates bigger meaning around it. Along the way, it asks the big questions with the person and society around them in mind. Ultimately arriving at the pōwhiri video before the user embarks on their designed destination is a stroke of genius.
An exceptional piece storytelling with considered individuality seamlessly woven in through a user's journey. Then once the user has created their world, the journey doesn't end with a beautiful 3D interative space, with functionality beyond that. A piece of work that is sure to inspire future talent on their way.
Credits & Collaborators: Design Strategist - Sam Ramlu, Matt Power Design Director - Matt Power Designer - Sophie Douglas, Lahiru De Silva, Roshan Nowshad Developer - Caitlin Palmer, Matt van der Haas, Preston Thomas, Gardner Bickford, James Bosworth, Andrew Welsh Copywriting - Mark Easterbrook
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