Strategic Marketing and Communications is excited to announce a major improvement to Chapman University’s degree and program listings. The changes include a new design, overall improved user experience, and more advanced technology.
User Experience and Design
As with our other projects, the new degrees and programs page was informed by Google Analytics and national research. One of our primary sources of national information was the Ruffalo Noel-Levitz e-expectations survey. Here are a few quick takeaways that informed our decision to prioritize this project:
- Approximately 55% of the prospective students seeking bachelor’s degree will go to the website to answer their questions. Researching on the web will be their first choice before contacting the admission office or another person at the institution.
- According to Google Analytics, the degrees and programs page is the 2nd most popular page of www.chapman.edu, second only to the University homepage.
- More than 60% of the visitors to this page are new visitors to Chapman’s website, meaning we have a great opportunity to make a good first impression on them.
- The old page served us well, but was underwhelming, and did not provide an ideal experience on a mobile device. The new site has a more attractive design and provides a wonderful experience on a mobile device.
The new degrees and programs page, just like the old one, will list all of Chapman’s available degrees and programs. However, the new page does a few important things that the old page doesn’t do.
The graduate programs can be easily sorted and filtered so that visitors to our site can easily find the specific programs that they are looking for. The view can be arranged by cards, or as line items. Using this link, the graduate section of this page can be linked to directly: http://www.chapman.edu/academics/degrees-programs-test.aspx?startingtab=4
For Undergraduate Students
Like graduate programs, undergraduate programs can be easily sorted and filtered and the view can be adjusted. Generally speaking, Graduate students know exactly what program they are interested in, whereas undergraduate students know that they want to attend College, but might not be clear as to what they want to study. Chapman’s new page helps guide a prospective student through the process of selecting a major. By interacting with the “What Motivates You” section, undergraduate students can make a few quick selections, and those choices populate majors that should be appealing to them
Under the Hood
The new degrees and programs page, like all of Chapman’s marketing websites, are built with Responsive Web Design (RWD) which allows the site to display optimally on desktop or laptop computers, tablets, mobile devices, virtual reality headsets, and even ridiculous web browsers like refrigerators (theoretically).
This web page is the first major web page that utilizes the web team’s new “shared content” tool. Currently, repetitive information that appears in multiple places on the site needs to be manually entered multiple times. The new shared content tool will allow website administrators to insert data that is referenced in a central database. That means that the degrees and programs are all stored in a central database, and the degrees and programs page is displaying that content. In the future, schools and colleges (for example) will be able to reference the same database and include a pre-filtered list of their degrees and programs. Because the pages will reference the central degrees and programs database, when a program is added or eliminated by the University, it will automatically update all of the pages using the shared content tool.