The School of Education is the number one school in the country for education research. To reach prospective undergraduate and graduate students, recruit and retain high-quality faculty, and keep our research and teaching at the fingertips of practicing teachers, the SoE website needs a design overhaul. To create a simpler user experience, redesigning the SoE websites with a focus on user experience and responsive design is necessary. We recommend contracting the services of a marketing firm that has experience building complex higher education websites using an integrated approach to messaging, marketing, and branding.
When analyzing traffic data for the main SoE website, we know that 25% of our users are accessing the website using mobile devices and tablets. Of those 25%, 19.89% were accessing the site through mobile (phone) devices, and those users had a staggering bounce rate* of 73.73%. While some bounces may be due to using education.wisc.edu as a homepage, these numbers are still evidence that we quickly lose a large number of users due to difficulties with viewing the site on mobile devices. Creating responsive websites, should improve the user experience and reduce bounce rates.
*Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).
|G1: Redevelop the School of Education web presence in an effort to use the technology as a more effective marketing tool.||G1.1 Simplify the route users take to find key information about becoming an undergraduate or graduate student at the school.
G1.2 Simplify the route users take to find key information about donating to the school
G1.3 Look at the entire digital landscape through the lens of user needs, marketing strategy, and business goals
G1.4 Allow for the most efficiencies in content strategy, design, and programming hours
G1.5 Better fit the long-term strategic needs of the school and its departmental and growth goals
|G2: Increase marketing potential for the SoE and Departments||G2.1 Leverage research of marketing professionals to guide the development of user interface and content strategy
G2.2 Create cohesive SoE marketing strategies across the School
|G3: Convert SoE websites currently using unresponsive Sitefinity CMS templates to responsive WordPress platform.||G3.1 Address both desktop and mobile display so that the user experience is consistent across all devices
G3.2 Provide for viewing and interacting with websites on a variety of devices without the need to pan/scroll.
G3.3 Reduce the bounce-rate1 for new users accessing the main SoE site through mobile devices & tablets.
G3.4 Reduce the bounce-rate for all sites accessed through mobile devices & tablets.
|G4: Offer a new, more contemporary, image-rich design aesthetic.||G4.1 Build upon the new campus look-and-feel
G4.2 Modify parent and child themes as appropriate to SoE or Department branding
|G5: Establish a more sustainable maintenance and support system for sites.||G5.1 Leverage the wealth of training and documentation materials available for WordPress
G5.2 Create training schedule and curriculum for new WordPress Editors
G5.3 Lower annual CMS software fees
Timeline & Progress
We will be working on creating a timeline for the project that will be feature here. Currently, we are in the process of initializing this process so that we may share the progress being made.