We’ve been looking at how we can further enhance our Virtual Tour offering and as a quick win we created an enhanced Google Map showing students details of where our college buildings and halls of residence are, and the travelling times between them (based on Google data).

We took a beta version, available on the desktop version of Facebook, out to user test with prospective students at various college open days (Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of the Arts and London College of Communication) and as ever with user testing, got some really interesting feedback.

The students were asked to find different buildings , accommodation and the travel times between them while we watched how they navigated the map.

The first thing we discovered was that Facebook customised tabs , like the one showing our map, don’t work on mobile. This is a problem because we found most users want to access travel apps on their phones. However, the plan would be to have this map on the UAL website which is optimised for mobile. We could also consider adding the map to the MyUAL app, which means that current students would be able to access it easily on the move.

We found that users weren’t able to find the map menu without prompting and many were looking for a search facility. Following this, one of our recommendations would be to have the menu open by default when the page is loaded and to position it on the right hand side where search is usually found. This also compares with other travel apps which show menus on launch.

Several users weren’t sure what the map should be used for, possibly because they didn’t see the menu. A title and an introductory sentence above the map should help with this.

There is an opportunity for further linking from the location boxes through to accommodation pages or college web pages.

We’ll now look at making these changes and then look to add the map to the website.