Landshut University of Applied Sciences optimizes web presence with the help of artificial intelligence

Future design of the university website selected by means of innovative emotion research

Landshut University of Applied Sciences continues to work on a contemporary and appealing Internet presence. Since last year, a major project has been underway to overhaul the university's website, which comprises around 3,000 pages, and to modernize its functions and appearance. Recently, those responsible in the project team sought professional support from the university's own campus. In a groundbreaking collaboration with Prof. Dr. Martina Mitterhofer and her team, a study was conducted in which AI-supported software read out the facial expressions of users while they used three different design variants of the future website. Mitterhofer is the expert for data-driven marketing in Landshut and increasingly integrates artificial intelligence into her research or other projects.

Clear distribution of competencies in a complex project

The project manager is the university's Vice President Prof. Dr. Marcus Jautze (Digitization, Foundation and Continuing Education). Working with him on the new website are university communications, consisting of Martina Huber (Marketing Management) and Florian Karow (Press Officer), as well as IT expert Ljupka Grabsch (Service IT). Meanwhile, the university receives external support from the dynamic managing director duo of Munich-based digital agency PHEENETZ, Kilian Peschel and Daniel Hehn, and experienced IT consultant Wolfgang Sieber (company owner SIEBER consulting). "The new website should convey the attractiveness of our university even better and inspire with a very good usability especially on mobile devices", says Prof. Dr. Marcus Jautze.

The project team of the website relaunch was accompanied over a period of two months by Prof. Dr. Martina Mitterhofer. The study she designed was to measure the emotional reaction of the student test persons to the three versions of the website. The results of the study were a decisive factor in the creation of the final design.

AI as a tool for optimizing digital experiences

What's special about the study is that it was conducted using software (AFFDEX by Affectiva) that detects emotional states in real time using fully automated algorithms. Here, the tracking of facial expressions, together with the subjective evaluation through subsequent questionnaires, is a meaningful indicator of emotional experience. The sample on which the investigations were based consisted of 53 students from Landshut.

Prof. Dr. Mitterhofer is also working in various projects on the use and application of artificial intelligence to generate growth potential. In her projects, she is working with students on the topic of strengthening customer and specialist acquisition by exploiting current generative AI possibilities: "Artificial intelligence holds enormous potential for making our work processes better and more efficient. I would like to bring my knowledge about the application of current tools to the region of Lower Bavaria through the education and training of our students, as well as the cooperation with companies," the dedicated professor gave insight into her motivation and intentions. The head of university communications, Martina Huber and Florian Karow, also commented positively on the insights that could be generated using this method and especially the involvement of the students. "We are very pleased that we were able to incorporate feedback from the many students who volunteered as subjects in this way. It's really important to be able to get feedback from our main target group," said a satisfied Martina Huber, for example, following the announcement of the results.

She and Florian Karow also emphasized how successful the design variants presented by PHEENETZ had been. However, the PHEENETZ team had proven its competence not only in the course of designing the new university website, but also beyond that in other areas of website creation. "Above all, I really like the mobile-first aspect of this partner. With this, Mr. Peschel and Mr. Hehn put exactly the focus on the most important medium of the current generation," commented Florian Karow.

New Landshut University homepage to be online in spring 2024

The ambitious homepage project has been worked on with great commitment by the seven-member relaunch team since the middle of last year. As things stand, the new website will go online on schedule in spring 2024. They are currently right on schedule because the cooperation within the university works excellently, as the example of the AI study and its use shows. The results of this study ensure that the future homepage of Landshut University will meet the expectations of students and other comparable target groups to the highest degree.

Photos: Landshut University

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