Pandemia and AI: University Takeaways
The era of generative AI has dawned upon us, and it is set to become an indispensable tool that will enhance human capabilities in the digital realm. COVID-19 has irrevocably transformed the university landscape, and with the integration of AI, learning and tutoring will be customized to an unprecedented degree.
As universities navigate this new landscape, it is more important than ever to have a strong online presence that engages and inspires prospective students, alumni, and the wider community. Here are three ways you can enhance your university website in the looming threat of a post-pandemic AI world:
Don’t fight it, Join It
Universities can develop curricula for undergraduate and graduate programs that offer courses in AI, machine learning, data science, and related fields. They can also foster interdisciplinary collaborations and invest in AI projects that amplify each student’s learning outcome.
As higher education continues to explore the potential of AI, it’s important to not overlook the role of front-end development in creating an engaging user experience. It doesn’t start nor end with a chatbot. By investing in visually appealing and interactive websites, universities can effectively highlight their new capabilities. Websites that engage users and encourage them to explore the different offerings of the university. This can include features such as virtual tours, interactive maps, and multimedia content that showcase the university’s unique attributes and strengths. An immersive online environment that fosters team spirit with dynamic and interactive flow that hooks people on their higher education journey from the start is paramount.
Focus On You Audience
There are other ways than AI to make your web presence personalized. Implementing UX Research in Every Stage of Your Projects – User experience (UX) research is essential to ensuring that your website is intuitive, engaging, and effective. Generative AI has the potential to generate a vast amount of data that can be used to inform UX design decisions. However, it cannot completely replace implementing UX research with live users.
Live user testing provides valuable insights into the user experience that cannot be captured through data analysis alone.
Live user testing allows designers to observe how users interact with a product, identify pain points and areas for improvement, and gain a better understanding of user behavior and preferences. For example, with Arizona State University, we geo-located their content so visitors are connected to the alumni chapter nearest to them. This extended to events as well. Users see the events happening nearest to them. This includes analyzing user behavior, conducting surveys and focus groups, and implementing A/B testing to compare different design options.
Value, Value, Value
Amidst the search for new ways to captivate audiences and differentiate oneself in a sea of sameness: what if the solution lies in an entity that can craft hyper-personalized value propositions in real-time?
Let’s take a look at Caltech, for example. We found that creatively displaying articles is the main recruitment tool to showcase prestige and compete with other research schools. Now imagine a tool capable of weaving unique and personalized content on the fly, to entice and enchant prospective recruits by catering to their highly subjective tastes, preferences and backgrounds.
If you have a strong community of like minded individuals in a particular area of expertise, you can tap into the hyper-personalization capabilities of generative AI to create highly adaptive, targeted campaigns and web components that highlight the benefits of being part of that community.
While there is a lot of concern around the impact of AI on society, including the possibility of a Skynet or Matrix-like scenario. It is important to recognize that AI is ultimately a tool for human enhancement. As such, it has the potential to improve our lives in many ways, from personalized learning experiences to more efficient administrative processes. The future for universities is not crystal clear, but what is important is to prioritize relevance with a strong digital strategy.