Driving recruiting success and overcoming outcome-based funding challenges for a suburban community college.
The college needed a strategically organized and redesigned website to help it effectively engage with key stakeholders, drive applications and enrollment, and provide an excellent user experience for multiple target audiences with varied and specific needs, as well as appealing to a general audience and communicating the institution’s focus on putting the “community” in “community college.”
Sanger & Eby conducted extensive research, including focus groups and stakeholder interviews with multiple user types, a faculty and staff survey, and a detailed competitive analysis to identify strengths, opportunities, and effectively understand user needs. Based on the integrated learnings from this effort, we developed a comprehensive strategy to ensure the needs of all user types – from new and incoming students to returning learners to community members – were met effectively and engagingly. In addition to an overall strategy, Sanger & Eby created detailed audience profiles and a content strategy for the newly re-imagined website, as well as a measurement and analytics plan to effectively demonstrate return on investment.
Extensive user experience testing conducted throughout the architecture and design phases helped to cover all bases in site organization, functionality, and content development. One compelling site feature that arose from our user experience research was Most Visited Pages—functionality that automatically populates most visited pages for each individual user, helping them to easily reference content of interest and create a personalized experience that deepened connection and engagement with the college.
Design provided a clean and modern aesthetic to match the site architecture as well as give the school a polished, academic—yet friendly—look and feel. We also provided art direction to influence the imagery of St. Charles’ beautiful campus, which feels more like a four-year college campus than a community college.
Sanger & Eby established a new site voice that influenced overall messaging as well as site content. We conducted training sessions and developed supporting materials to educate several site contributors on best practices for writing for the web and the school going forward, ensuring site content stays consistent and web governance procedures are followed effectively.
Unique function allows users to access recent and favorite pages without log-in credentials
St. Charles’ new, fully responsive site launched in winter 2016 to overwhelmingly positive feedback from all relevant target audiences, and the college is promoting its “Five Favorite Reasons We Love Our New Site” article. SCC has high expectations for the project’s impact on achieving its goals.