IU Online's streamlined application process is highlighted by business strategist Roger Dooley's 2019 book Friction (McGraw Hill, 2019). Dooley explores the application as a case study in reducing friction and enabling easy action in order to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. "The easier an action is," posits Dooley, "the more likely it will happen."
In the book, Dooley describes how Office of Online Education (OOE) staff members analyzed IU Online's potential audience and discovered that IU's competition was not so much other institutions, but applicants' time constraints. Once the OOE team pinpointed the time-consuming "friction points" in the application process, it worked to remove them.
In fall 2017, the office implemented a simplified online application process that doubled the number of applications, increased the number of enrolled students by 46 percent, and cut marketing costs by up to two-thirds. "When you're competing with the clock and life's obligations, saving time generates more applications," Associate Vice President and Director of Online Education Chris Foley said (Friction, p. 228).
Stay tuned for further discussions about friction, and how to reduce it, in the next issue of the IU Online Newsletter.