Colleges and universities must not overlook their websites in updates to digital strategy
- With students demanding improved digital access from colleges and universities, institutions must not overlook their websites among other technological focuses, eCampus News reports.
- To meet the needs of current students, prospective students and alumni, eCampus News suggests that an institution's website should embody its brand, be easily navigable, display clear pathways to student success, highlight an institution's best qualities, and provide key information for visitors.
- When rethinking its website, an institution should monitor analytics to find where visitors go most frequently and how long they stay there, use A/B testing to ensure it works as intended, and ensure design is ADA compliant in addition to being responsive so it works across all devices.
Social media and apps have provided new means of outreach for colleges and universities, making it easy for website strategy to fall through the cracks. But the school's website is still a destination for prospective and current students looking for more information on what an institution has to offer, in addition to alumni wanting to stay up to date with the latest news and programs.
When redesigning a website, institutions might consider inviting a variety of stakeholders to try out various functions in the presence of designers, who can then take notes on how those subjects interact with the site and make adjustments accordingly. Prior to that, a school can also survey current students, prospective students and alumni to find out what they want most from the institution's digital presence. Tackling these updates sooner rather than later can make the process smoother, as mobile tech becomes increasingly ubiquitous among students — especially when considering that data from a Unit4 study cited by eCampus News suggests 73% of students are unsatisfied with the digital strategies employed by their schools.
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