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Virtual Campus Tour: A Day in the Life of a UC Denver Student

Project Plan


Create a virtual campus tour that strategically promotes CU Denver as a superior option in an engaging approach for prospective students who are at the critical consideration point in the education buying cycle. The tour must be easy to maintain and update, and be expandable to include additional videos, more intricate links to other information on the Web site, additional social media experiences, etc. 
The consideration point sits between “awareness” and “purchase” in the educational buying cycle. The target prospect will access the virtual campus tour via the CU Denver website or marketing materials and therefore is already aware of CU Denver as an option. At this point, a prospect begins to validate potential choices. They want easy access to information that they can use to compare to other choices, and they want to visualize themselves in this setting. Most prospects, especially Millennials, expect real-time information and are likely to manage consideration issues by talking with those they trust, taking advantage of social networks. Forrester Research reports one consumer as saying, "No matter what I hear, read, or find on TV, radio, or in a magazine or newspaper, I can verify it on the Internet."
The virtual campus tour’s goal is to “show” instead of “tell” why CU Denver is their first choice by revealing credible information in engaging mediums such as student and faculty testimonials, campus imagery, interactive features, etc.

Target audience(s):

  • Prospective undergraduate students for the downtown campus.
    Key message: CU Denver’s downtown campus offers a unique experience in a safe, vibrant urban area. Yet it also has a campus feel, with a student union, commons area, dorms, activities. This is the place for undergrads who have a good idea what they want to accomplish in college and who want to have meaningful work-study experiences. This is a place where diversity is celebrated.
  • Transfer/non-traditional undergraduate.
    Key message: CU Denver’s downtown campus offers a serious education resulting in a prestigious degree from the University of Colorado. Here, you can position yourself in areas of study not available anywhere else in the state, including preparation for careers in health care, architecture, arts and media, education, business and engineering. Flexibility in scheduling and online classes makes it easy to fit a CU Denver education into your life. This is a place where diversity is celebrated.
  • See personas for more insight.

Quantifiable goals:

  • Sign up for a campus visit
  • Visit the Student Life section on website
  • Visit the academic program section of website
  • Visit the admissions section of website


  • 3 – 4 wireframes
    • Welcome page that includes:
      • Persistent Navigation
      • Schedule/stops navigation
    • Schedule/Stops “detail” page that includes:
      • Embedded video
      • Embedded photo slideshows
      • Calls to actions
      • Auxiliary information
  • Storyboard
    • 2 – 3 UI click-through prototypes
  • Design
    • 2 concept directions derived from existing “theme” created for CU Denver undergraduate student related websites.
      • 2 rounds of concept direction revisions
    • Design mockups for each wireframe
      • 2 rounds of wireframe revisions
    • Interaction Designs, animations, Flash Tweens, etc.
      • 2 rounds of revisions
  • Video
    • TBD

Proposed Storyboard:

  • 8:00: Breakfast at Campus Village with Jason.
    • Student:
      • Traditional freshman,
    • Key points to bring out:
      • Safe
      • Nice rooms
      • Close to everything
      • Application process
      • Roommate experience
  • 9:30: First class of the day with Maria.
    • Student:
      • Traditional freshman, CLAS or Business
    • Key points to bring out:
      • Small class size
      • Professor knows you and has real world knowledge
      • City location
      • Advising
      • Diversity
      • Value of University of Colorado degree
      • Connection to health sciences
  • 10:45: Office hours with Professor Connor.
    • Professor:
      • CLAS or Business (Ferguson?)
    • Key points:
      • Students want to make a difference now
      • Students more mature
      • Students often balance work and school
      • Internship possibilities
      • Connection to health sciences
  • Noon: Lunch at the Tivoli with Brian.
    • Student:
      • Transfer student, Engineering, Business, SPA
    • Key points:
      • Real world opportunities for learning and internships
      • More mature students
      • Advising
      • City location
      • Diversity
      • Student activities
      • Tivoli
  • 1:30: Class with Monica.
    • Student:
      • Traditional age, but ambiguous about year in school, CAM or Architecture
    • Key points:
      • State of the art facilities
      • Professors have real-world experience
      • City location
      • Making a difference now
      • Value of degree
      • Internship possibilities
  • 3:00: Cycling with Larry.
    • Student:
      • Traditional age, but ambiguous about year in school, any major
    • Key points:
      • Great cycling/walking/running trails, parks, other outdoors
      • Close to the mountains
      • Rec center
      • Denver sports scene
      • Club sports
      • Possible Division II sports
  • 4:30: Meet Tania at end of her work-study shift
    • Student:
      • Traditional age, ambiguous year in school, part-time job in something close to her field
    • Key points:
      • Many students balance work and study
      • Real world experience
      • Varied job choices in the city
      • Convenience of living/working/studying in the city
      • Making a difference today
      • Value of degree and experience
  • 5:30: Meet up with David at the Market to make plans for the evening
    • Student:
      • Traditional age, ambiguous year in school, any major
    • Key points
      • Larimer Square/LoDo
      • Denver Center
      • Sports scene
      • 16th Street Mall
      • Cherry Creek Mall
      • Student discounts
      • King Center
      • Mass transit – free student pass
  • 8:00: Kicking back with Denise in her apartment
    • Student:
      • Sophomore or junior, any major, international?
    • Key points:
      • Good apartment choices
      • Good neighborhoods
      • Free light rail pass
      • Diversity
      • More mature students
      • Student Life

Technical Requirements:

  • Target browsers:
    • Windows: IE 6, 7 and 8, Firefox
    • Mac: Safari, Firefox
  • Target download size: 150K – if larger, Flash files should use a preloader
    • Account for pre-loaders (“loading….” messages)
    • Low main file size (main screens load fast)
  • Maintenance: Site should be easy to maintain and updated. Images, videos and text should be external to the flash file so they are easy to change/update.
  • Loads multiple external SWF’s as needed (maps, video, slideshow, etc…)
    • Import XML v1.0 is OK if export is delivered from MOSS
  • 508 compliant (video captions, screen-reader)
  • All text content (including Flash) searchable through Google (no text embedded in images or in outlined vector graphics)
  • Flash programmed in Flash CS3, ActionScript 3, or higher
  • Conversion metrics:
    • Ability to add Google Analytics code to track metrics.
  • Tour/Experience will be stand-alone
    • Teasers embedded in site to bring them to the virtual tour or “stops” in the tour
    • Each stop should be modular so it can be reused within the larger university website
  • Video Player
    • 16:9 aspect ratio
    • Play, pause, RR, seek bar, volume, full screen mode, caption mode
    • Scrollable gallery of related videos
    • Student, faculty & staff interviews
    • Variety of settings: classroom, outdoors, offices, etc…
    • Calls-to-action pop-ups during video (option)
    • Use of embedded video from outside source (i.e. YouTube)
  • Sharing and social media buttons
    • Photo Slideshow
      • Scrollable gallery of related images
      • 4:3 aspect ratio
      • Photo captions
      • Sharing and social media buttons
    • Easily updateable
      • No funky borders, styles or filters applied to video, photos or maps
      • Uniform photo widths & heights (may vary based on use within tour)
      • Uniform video widths & heights (may vary based on use within tour)
      • No overly complex motion tweens or animations
      • No “Intro” animation/presentation
        • Present navigation options immediately


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