Piloting Oxplore – again

The boxes are packed and ready for the road. The social media is all scheduled for release. Over 300 envelopes addressed to schools have been dispatched to the post room. Five brand new Big Questions are live at www.oxplore.org It must be time for Oxplore’s second pilot!

Our first pilot focussed on the North East. This time we’re seeking to gather feedback and information on site use from a broader area – Wales, Yorkshire and Humber, and the East Midlands. As with the North East, we’ve chosen these areas by triangulating several databases around progression to HE and to Oxford.

Our activity this time involves school workshops and focus groups in Wales and the East Midlands. In Yorkshire and Humber, we’re running a mainly digital pilot to help us see how finding us that way changes the site usage.

Lgears-818464_960_720.pngast time we were interested in how young people responded to our concept of Big Questions and the content on the site. This time we’re interested in how users experience the site. Does it behave as they’d expect? Is there anything about the interface we’ve designed that they dislike? These details are the difference between people sticking around on the site or moving on. They are the cogs in our machine.

“If the user is having a problem, it’s our problem.” —Steve Jobs

With such great content from across the University of Oxford we’re keen that the technical detail doesn’t scupper our chance to engage young people. We also still have some technical development time before our launch later this year. This pilot is well timed to give us the chance to seek user input on new functionality like registration.

As before, we will be combining the opinions we hear in focus groups with the data we can gather from Google Analytics. In our first pilot, the overall picture was positive with proof of some things we expected plus some areas we need to think further about. What we’ll find out this time… who knows!


About Alex Pryce

I manage Communications and Engagement for the digital outreach portal project. I am based in the Widening Access and Participation team at the University of Oxford.

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