This July, internet site visitors—including present and possible college students and their households, college, staff—will have an improved experience when they pay a visit to the CU Denver university major internet site, which incorporates the ucdenver.edu homepage, and central university student solutions web-sites. Powered by a new information administration method (CMS) and redesigned with the intention of enhancing how we serve students on the internet, the web sites are an effort to better assist their results as a result of recruitment, enrollment, and retention to graduation—one of the university’s key strategic priorities.
A collaboration between various departments, the months-extensive task is nearing completion despite the unparalleled worries introduced on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The web pages are 1 component of a greater CMS changeover from Sharepoint to Sitefinity for the CU Denver and CU Anschutz campuses. The CMS transition, aimed at building a far more favourable experience for web-site guests, is predicted to conclude this fall.
Sponsors of the redesign venture for CU Denver’s key university website and central pupil solutions internet sites include the offices of Administration and Finance, Scholar Achievement, College Communications, and Data Technological know-how. Many teams and men and women in these units contributed their time and expertise to make certain the re-envisioned websites meet up with users’ requires.
Applying intensive campuswide investigate conducted by Denver-based advertising agency Cactus, the crew reconceived the sites with the aims of creating simpler-to-uncover written content, guaranteeing crucial tasks—like making contact with an advisor—align with how students think about completing them, and sharing obvious and concise data. In addition, we will keep on to establish a holistic see of how our college students use the internet sites via analytics information and testing and implement these insights to build and improve their digital experiences, said Karen Klimczak, interim vice chancellor of College Communications.
The target is to contribute to a more constructive college student experience that sales opportunities to student achievements, which can impact better retention and graduation fees.
“Many folks throughout the campus have worked amazingly challenging in excess of the last calendar year to re-picture our web page from the college student viewpoint, and I assume the complete campus group will be very pleased of the end result,” explained Jennifer Sobanet, senior vice chancellor for Administration and Finance and chief economic officer. “The university student-centered layout will make it quick for each prospective and existing students to obtain their way to the details and guidance products and services they want centered on where by they are in their journey.”
A Far more Seamless, College student-Centered Experience
Before, the pupil providers and college major web pages displayed duplicate data, dense language, and links to obsolete internet pages. Website readers had to navigate as a result of many clicks and scrolls to uncover wanted facts. Quite often, that tends to make for a puzzling user practical experience.
Carrie John, associate vice chancellor for Scholar Enrollment Operations & Compliance in the Place of work of the Registrar, mentioned: “The previous web-site style and design was heavily concentrated on our organizational construction, with info laid out by each and every of the workplaces and models of CU Denver. To make improvements to the pupil encounter, we preferred to realign our info into a student-centric product.”
The new, mobile-friendly websites offer a far more seamless, college student-centered encounter. On the college homepage, programs and services—such as taking a tour, exploring universities and faculties, and calculating tuition costs—are situated in a single central hub with seamless navigation tabs at the top rated and left of just about every webpage. The pupil providers internet site is comparable, with quick navigation to shelling out costs, scheduling an appointment with an advisor, and logging on to the pupil portal.
On each redesigned internet sites, the information is unambiguous, free of complicated jargon. There is a lot less textual content, much more white space, large-high quality photographs, and visible cues, which alongside one another supply a extra navigable practical experience.
The web-sites continue on to endorse 3 of CU Denver’s vital messages: link to the town, exploration, and experiential mastering. The difference is, the articles is student-pushed. Key pieces of information, these kinds of as deadlines and check-lists, are located at the top rated of web pages. Also highlighted are testimonies from present-day college students and alumni and points spotlighting the diverse inhabitants of CU Denver, which will make the written content a lot more appealing and relatable.
“We are flipping it so that it is much more the way students believe,” explained Catherine Wilson, director of world wide web communications for College Communications. “The blend of the web site construction and information and facts on the internet site superior meets the desires of the learners. If the pupils are profitable in accomplishing what they will need to complete, it’s a gain-gain for absolutely everyone.”
The sentiment rings correct now more than ever.
Developing Roadmaps for Scholar Success
The job was carried out in 3 phases more than a 10-thirty day period period of time. The time was employed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the former web-site, utilizing input from far more than 200 students and staff members users across campus.
During the three-period course of action, Cactus measured facts through surveys, present-day web-site usability testing, and aim teams. To assess the backend of the site, the research team performed a website analytics audit, heatmap analytics evaluation (which exhibits how persons engage with the webpages), and a aggressive landscape analysis.
From the results, the analysis crew discovered the major utilizes, strengths, and roadblocks of the present-day web knowledge, and outlined specific maps for the different teams of college students who use the website. A transfer college student, for example, wants apparent route on the place to start out in the transfer credit approach. A initial-era or global student must be in a position to effortlessly uncover data on funding eligibility or visa status.
Accomplishing these responsibilities necessitates concise and regular language, scannable content material with clear headings, and clarity all around timelines and next measures. The new university key and student companies web-sites ended up created with these demands at the forefront.
In phases two and a few of the undertaking, makers and contributors from University student Good results, OIT, and College Communications produced a new navigation and content material system based on the analysis results and scholar comments. Structure and creation of the prototype followed.
Period 3 concluded with a examination of the closing product—reimagined university most important and university student providers web sites that prioritize scholar results. The new sites will start June 26 – 28.