I first began working with founder Zippy Thumim in 2013. Design Alive was 4 years old and had grown significantly. The website didn’t reflect the school’s level of quality and professionalism, and didn’t do enough to push prospective students toward making contact.
Working with Design Alive’s bright and appealing brand colors, we redesigned their website completely, working on showing off their student portfolios and glowing testimonials, and making information accessible and easy to find. Internally, Design Alive staff can easily add new course information, and new student portfolios.
Streamlining & Automating:
While the site now looked great and was easy to update, Design Alive staff were still doing a lot of manual administrative work.
Zippy re-approached Highlight Creative a few years later, recognizing that we might be able to automate and streamline some of these tasks via the website.
Help more people in less time:
Design Alive receives a lot of inquiries via their contact form. That’s good, but they found they were repeatedly emailing the same information, and getting phone calls or emailed requests for callbacks for questions that were answered in their prospectus.
A simple change had serious results:
We changed the contact form to require selecting to either receive the prospectus by email, or request a callback. Some automatic email notifications were added, and the results were instantaneous:
- Greatly diminished requests for callbacks
- Staff members no longer review every submission to answer questions and send the prospectus — it’s emailed immediately to inquirers.
- Design Alive gets a special notification when someone requests the prospectus and submits a question or comment along with the request. This allows them to respond personally to those inquiries, but with some leeway on timing.
Design Alive also added live-chat to their site, which they enable during their busiest seasons, to answer quick questions during staff working hours.
Design Alive’s student onboarding process evolved as they grew, but it was time to stop addressing issues piecemeal and work on a consolidated, streamlined solution.
We created a student center within the main Design Alive website.
- New students automatically accept terms and pay registration fees (this had been handled manually).
- Registration creates a student center account. The student center has class information, calendars, and helpful tips. Design Alive staff can easily update course calendars and yearly information within the center. This provides new students with instant value, instead of having to wait to be personally assisted.
- Tuition payments had been on a separate site and changing credit card information mid-payments had to be handled manually. We moved the tuition system to the student center and streamlined its appearance so it is easier to find and pay for courses.
- I suggested a different payment gateway would be easier to work with and have better rates. The switch resulted in reduced per-payment rates, as well as a system that fully integrates with Design Alive’s website, allowing students to handle their billing information.
Our work resulted in significantly less administrative time spent per student, and new students feel cared for and receive immediate value. Everyone wins!