Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology is the largest tertiary provider in the Bay of Plenty, and the fourth largest institute of technology in New Zealand. In terms of size, Toi Ohomai deliver more than 150 programmes to over 14,000 students. Their courses range from certificates to post-graduate study. Toi Ohomai is an amalgamation of two institutions – Bay of Plenty Polytechnic in Tauranga, and Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua. The institutions merged in May 2016 to better meet the education and employment needs of the region.



Tertiary institutes worldwide are focused on boosting their enrolment numbers to maintain historical levels. Toi Ohomai are establishing a new brand and were rightly focused on keeping new student enrolments flowing through a positive user experience. Toi Ohomai approached Cucumber for some recommendations on improving the student online experience as they transitioned from two legacy sites to one. While it was tempting to jump straight in and provide some ‘best practice’ recommendations, we chose a different path.


Our first step was to ensure that we understood the core needs of the end-users.

Here’s how we went about it:

1. We worked with Toi Ohomai to define a range of user journeys that result in, or support, student acquisition. Our focus was primarily on journeys for prospective domestic and international students. To balance this view, we also considered staff and agents that interact with students before and during the enrolment process.

2. From the user journeys, we were able to identify the core user groups. These were the people at the coalface that could tell us what really happens around enrolling for tertiary education.

3. We spent the next three weeks in focus groups with users including domestic and international students, careers advisors, community workers, international agencies, and a range of staff members.

4. From here, the Cucumber team was able to create wireframes and the necessary information architecture that supported the usability Toi Ohomai was after.


Toi Ohomai are now focussed on elements leading to boosting student acquisition through website content, making it simple to find and easy to understand.

"Peter’s research and guidance gave us invaluable insights into our users’ expectations and behaviour. This information steered the project from development through launch and beyond. Pete was so easy to work with and had a vast amount of knowledge to share with us. We wouldn’t hesitate to engage Pete and the Cucumber team again.”

Trilby Bagshaw
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Digital Experience Specialist

Trilby Bagshaw

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Digital Experience Specialist

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