The project will drive significant collaboration across the professional and academic areas of the university, as it works to map the student journey from end to end. We’re listening to our students in-depth, and comprehensive student research results will be shared across the university.

Working with experts

The university has engaged research specialist MAKE Studios to gather in-depth insights from 120 students and alumni. This research uses human-centred design to gather insights about student needs and to pinpoint the key interactions in ACU’s online and offline environments that shape their experience. Improvements will then be designed to boost the onboarding experience for new students and the retention of our current students.

Vector illustration of a man and woman walking

Accessible student insights

This research will provide us with comprehensive student journey maps, a prioritised roadmap of initiatives to enhance the student experience and it will create a searchable library of insights. These research insights will make it easy for staff to understand what students really experience when they interact with ACU.

The project is a continuation and expansion of successful pilot work that was undertaken in 2018 – 2019, which focussed primarily on the onboarding phase of the student journey.

“This early work drove tangible improvements,” said Dr Stephen Weller, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor. “Consequently, the Corporate Services and Innovation and Education portfolios have provided joint funding to expand this approach.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Innovation) Professor Zlatko Skrbis said the Empathy to Experience (UX) project will look holistically at all types of students across the entire student lifecycle.

“As we gather research, it will be built into an insights library,” Professor Skrbis said. “This is an online database that all ACU staff will be able to readily access and search to find insights which are of interest to their field of work.”

Driving innovation

The project does not stop at research. It will continue with implementing innovative improvements to address known pain-points and streamline processes to reduce complexity. It will support a student-centric approach to the provision of digital support and services. A user experience (UX) team has been established within MER to apply the insights from this work to existing and new projects and to test and measure improvements.

Resources and downloads

How to engage

To find out more, organise a presentation in your faculty, school or directorate or to engage the UX Team to discuss your project or initiative, please email Luke Williams,, or Liz Moon,

Page last updated on 16/04/2020

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