TERTIARY EDUCATION: Western Sydney University

The Brief

Help to improve the retention of first year students, by improving student experience, and resulting in millions of dollars of increased revenue.


Connecting students with one another, their academic staff, and the broader University services was critical component to student experience and retention.


A personal device in the form of the iPad allowed the University to gain greater insight and personalise the experience for students, leading to greater engagement.


For prospective and current students, helping them to plan their careers and how to optimise their University experiences is a key differentiator.

Defining the problem

We completed research and interviews with key stakeholders, competitor products and student workshops, to help them clearly define the right problem to solve.

Mapping the journey

Mapping the journeys from individual students to create one map with the overview of a student. Outliers are key to the research – sometimes providing the most interesting insights.

Thinking beyond now

In this engagement, the university saw that by helping students have clarity, it gave them more depth of understanding for their admissions, retention and brand.

Understanding students

Workshops were held with students that covered the student segments identified to gain an understanding of their journey, key pain points and decision making points.

Insights to create solutions

Insights discovered meant we were able to simplify and distil students in two major segments. This insight meant a deep focus for the user experience and a prioritised roadmap of features.


Partnering with the University over a four year period allowed the Alive team to support the strategy of providing a superior experience and increasing student retention.

Business Design 0
Experience Design 0
Product Design 0
Agile Build 0
Partner Support 0

The Process

Several engagements over multiple years required the Alive team to apply a number of skills and their experience to support the University's objectives.


“The team at Alive were instrumental in moving forward our student experience strategy and roadmap. They introduced us to a user-led approach to creating new experiences for our students. Everyone involved at WSU appreciated their hands on approach to research, validation and user feedback. ”

Student Experience Manager