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Advantage Design Group
Advantage Design Group
800.657.1338 | 904.722.8200
6877 Phillips Industrial Blvd | Jacksonville, FL 32256

OPTIMIZE Newsletter

VOL. 2 ISSUE 3 | AUGUST 2022

OPTIMIZE Newsletter Banner

Online Orientation Re-Design Keeps Up with your Brand

In the last issue of OPTIMIZE, many of you participated in a poll to rank topics you would like to learn more about. Your top topic, coming in at 37.5%, was “Refreshing your Online Orientation with a New Look.” So, if your institution’s branding guidelines have changed and you are wondering how your orientation platform can keep up, here’s a great example.

We helped George Mason University launch its first Patriot Preview pre-orientation in 2013. Since that time, the institutional brand changed quite a bit. Mason's new look and feel had yet to make its way to the orientation platform.

Previous branding elements leaned on imagery, the institutional wordmark, icon, and a small set of primary colors. New branding introduced an expanded color palette, updated photographic library, a variety of icon representations, and the adoption of a new illustrative style. Mason’s project committee wanted to give the orientation experience a more engaging feel, appeal to a more diverse audience, and reflect a feeling of family.

Patriot Preview Before

Previous Mason Orientation Interface Design

The original Patriot Preview featured a clean, open look, large photographic elements, and unique type treatments.

Patriot Preview After

Current Mason Orientation Interface Design

Today’s Patriot Preview adapts Mason's new branding that includes an illustrative style and bold colors while taking advantage of intentional visual placement.

The Process of Re-Design

When you’re ready to give your orientation platform a new look, we’re ready to expedite the process in five easy steps.

  1. Kick-Off: bring your orientation, marketing, and communications team to the discussion. We’ll prompt you to provide your branding guide before the meeting so your design team can ask better questions. Your platform’s content structure will also be discussed at this meeting.
  2. Concept: you’re provided with two fresh and unique design concepts for review. Choose one or choose one to modify.
  3. Alpha: your chosen design concept is applied to your main navigation, example content slides, and video placeholder slides.
  4. Beta: based on your direction, we migrate your existing content to your new platform.
  5. Master: design, content (text and video slides), and responsiveness all come together for your review

If it's been more than a few years, you may want to refresh your videos, too. We can film them in our studio with professional talent or film on campus. You may want to consider adding a wider array of videos, like a walking tour, safety video, program features, testimonials, or a new kind of theme video we call Cinematic (see next article). Video production entails a separate set of reviews, with your approved videos included at the Master stage.

Are you ready to refresh your online orientation with a new look?

Want to see more inspiring examples? Contact your Client Success Account Manager to schedule a video conference.

Student Testimonial Videos More Popular Than Ever

In the last issue of OPTIMIZE, we discussed how student testimonial videos are one of the most impactful video concepts you can include in your platform. Whether you open your platform to prospective students, families, or newly admitted students, videos that give students a voice to share their stories are more popular than ever. Here are two fresh examples.

Unmistakably Authentic

Student testimonial videos present real-life stories of benefits gained through a particular experience, service, or program. You can prepare students in advance by providing a set of questions and letting them speak from the heart or allowing us to provide a script that reflects their story. Either way, the authenticity of the message is unmistakable. Selecting several students who represent your student population is a great way to demonstrate diversity and reinforce a sense of belonging. You can multiply the impact by sprinkling student testimonial videos throughout your online orientation.

NEW Student Testimonial Video Examples

Testimonial videos can include one or multiple students on camera and b-roll to add visual interest and offer a feeling of being there.

North Dakota State University

What's it like to get involved on campus and engage in student activities and organizations at North Dakota State University? Find out from this student leader in the Community Engagement section.

Nashville State Community College

Students answer a simple question: what kind of support have you received here at Nashville State Community College? Their answers appear within the Student Services section. 

Contact the Client Success Team

Use the form to contact the Client Success Team and start the conversation about using student testimonials in your online orientation.

Advance of the Clones

One of the great features available with your Advantage Orientation® is the ability to customize and curate content for any number of unique audiences on one platform. One virtual orientation system for many groups managed by any number of assigned administrators under a single brand is proving to be an enterprise solution. However, many institutions are now taking advantage of an option that sounds a little bit like science fiction but is providing real benefits.

Customizing and segmenting content for individual groups on a single platform is most often achieved through an optional feature we call Profile Member Groups. This can be achieved either by enabling self-identified fields upon initial login or automatically assigning content through integration with your student information system using the admission types you prescribe. Depending on your audience, you can choose to serve customized content to anyone, from first-time college students, students entering certain programs, and even new employees. You can add “member groups” at any time.

What is a Clone?

Since 2020, a growing number of your peers, from large research universities to community colleges, have chosen another way to reach distinct audiences while maintaining the institutional brand. They’re launching clones of existing platforms and then customizing the content to fit their audience. Cloning an existing platform utilizes the same interface design and shortens the production process quite a bit. We literally duplicate your existing platform. With training, you are empowered to customize the content any way you need. Cloned platforms can be successfully launched within weeks after delivery and are very cost-effective.

Cloning Advantage Orientation platforms for campus departments

Brigham Young University started with an Advantage Orientation for Undergraduates and has since "cloned" that platform for Graduate and Continuing Education students.

Why Launch a Clone

Deciding if your institution would benefit from a clone of your online orientation leans on several factors, such as organizational structure and budget allocation. For example, your online orientation may be intended for all students attending the main campus, but because of how your organization is structured or how individual department budgets are managed, customizing an orientation experience for students attending another location within your existing platform is just not practical.

So far, cloned Advantage Orientation® platforms have been produced to orient a variety of audience segments including

  • Graduate Students
  • Continuing Education
  • Campus Location
  • Faculty & Staff
  • Dual Enrollment
  • Distance Learners
  • Veteran Students
  • International Students
  • Transfer Students

Reaching Across the Enterprise

Cloning existing orientation platforms is proving to be a true enterprise solution. During a recent webinar, James Crane, Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies at Brigham Young University and past president of NAGAP (The Association for Graduate Enrollment Management) put it like this:

This is a great opportunity to reach across the institution, break the silos, have conversations about resources and stewardship, and what a wonderful platform this is for all students and how you can share costs. And, in my opinion, this virtual orientation can be revisited as often as a student wants or needs. It's supporting students through their entire academic journey. You can't put a price on that.

The Cloning Solution

If cloning your existing orientation platform sounds like an ideal solution, use the form to reach out to the Client Success team.

Latest Advantage OnDemand Video Releases

Advantage OnDemandTM is a growing portfolio of orientation videos that address a wide array of topics. With one subscription, you gain access to high-quality orientation video content at a fraction of the cost to produce just one video. These latest releases are relevant to just about any student group.

Career Services

Deciding on a major in college and one's career takes time. In this live-action, hosted video, students are encouraged to start exploring their options early by engaging with your school's Career Services office.

All About HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act addresses privacy issues related to medical records and it can be complicated to understand. This animated and illustrated video, suitable for both families and students, breaks down what HIPAA is all about and why the law's provisions are relevant to them.

Preview the Advantage OnDemandTM Catalog

Scroll through the entire index of orientation video titles then reach out to your Client Success Team to learn how to get started.

Thank you for your trust. We're here to help.

We hope you found value in this edition of OPTIMIZE.

We look forward to helping you continue to improve your online orientation.