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University of Nevada, Reno

Personalizing the University Experience

To bring the University of Nevada, Reno’s virtual tour to life, we created a customizable online experience that immersed prospective students in the campus and encouraged them to take next steps toward enrollment.

Personalizing the University Experience

Creating a Campus Tour That Converts

To showcase the campus, UNR partnered with Noble Studios to develop a virtual sales tool that would let students visit campus. The final product? A personalized tour experience designed to fit the unique needs and desires of each student. And positive campus visits translate to applications.


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Three Key Opportunities

Create a personalized, virtual tour experience to showcase a growing Western university

Encourage prospective students to take the next steps and enroll


  • 83 %
    YoY Increase in On-site Time
  • 80 %
    Increase in Out-of-state Visitors
  • 11 %
    Increase in Avg. Pages Viewed
unr website redesign

A Tour That Caters to Students’ Preferences

We put ourselves in the shoes of regionally competitive students who value quality of life as much as a quality education. What would they want to know? What would they want to see? To reach these prospects, we developed a virtual tour that featured well-executed photography of the campus and student life, as well as amenities, dorms and meeting spaces. The tour was fully customizable and prospective students could choose up to 10 locations to visit when they embarked on their personalized virtual experience.

Early development

Starting with sketches to wireframes to the final branded design, we held planning and brainstorming sessions to solidify our goals for the virtual tour, and ensure we reached them in an easy-to-use format.

unr sketches
UNR Wireframes
UNR Virtual Tour

“It’s a great way to get an overview of the University and the parts that you want to know more about.”

UNR Student

Encouraging Enrollment Through an Immersive Experience

How We Personalized the Tour Experience

Now, when prospective students take UNR’s virtual campus tour, they can select “show me around” or “build a custom tour.” To build their own tour, they submit their social and academic interests. Our virtual tour program generates a personalized experience that includes the social scene, academic buildings in their field of study, and campus amenities. Users are able to edit and update their choices at any point during the tour. To promote ongoing awareness of the interactive campus tour, students are encouraged to share their experience with friends across social networks.

virtual tour - step 1
virtual tour - step 2
virtual tour - step 3
virtual tour - step 4

Virtual Tour Features

1. Sharing

Prospective students can share their customized tour with their friends and parents via social channels.

2. Customized Stops

Students are treated to a unique virtual tour experience with up to 10 stops that are customized to fit their specific academic and social interests.

3. Scalability

UNR can add additional stops to the virtual tour experience with ease and without added development efforts.

Spotlight on a Tour Stop

The user can learn about a building, its history and amenities on a virtual tour stop. They can also interact with a Google map that shows the location and nearby conveniences. Alumni can share stories from campus, adding to the fully-immersive experience.

How Students Reacted

Prior to launch, real students and on-campus tour guides were given the opportunity to build their own tour. Here is what they had to say.

”I think people would be more compelled to share it since they customized it.”

”I think students would enjoy it, I can see parents gaining a lot as well.”

”It was really user-friendly and comprehensive! I think prospective students would find it easy to use.”


Visitors who built a customized tour spent nine minutes longer on the site than users who didn’t view the tour. UNR also saw a boost in out-of-state visitors to the site. Bottom line: this improved User Experience translated directly to increased admissions.

  • 83 %
    YoY Increase in On-site Time
  • 80 %
    Increase in Out-of-state Visitors
  • 11 %
    Increase in Avg. Pages Viewed


  • W3 Gold for Best in Show Website
  • Communicator Awards Gold for Website Visual Appeal
  • Communicator Awards Gold for Structure and Navigation
  • Davey Award Gold for Website Navigation
  • Communicator Awards Silver for Website/School/University
  • Summit Creative Award Bronze for Website Education
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Lets make this year your best yet.