homepage cover screens

We get asked quite often what are the latest trends. What are other universities doing on their homepages? Should we have just images in our slideshow or video? I recently watched a webinar from GatherContent about what we can learn from 160 university website homepages. This was presented by the eQAfy team, they provided some really interesting insights and overall confirmed a lot of the assumptions we normally we have when planning our a homepage redesign. I won’t go over the whole presentation but I’ll share a few highlights that we found particularly interesting.

Homepage Themes

Themes associated with homepage designs and their rankings of popularity. I think the first few are pretty obvious as to why they work so well and why you would want to use these as a focus.

  1. Student-focused “see yourself there” 40% use this approach
  2. Campus Landscape “imagine the campus” 30% use this approach
  3. Statement - Marketing speak or mission
  4. Individual - Single student or teach focus
  5. Research - News and press releases
  6. What we are/What we do
  7. News
  8. Abstraction
  9. Ranking - How we compare to our competition

Homepage Call to Action

A few years back I think we would have different data then what we see now. It's relatively common for us to subconsciously add these as defaults to most of the websites we work on. Here are the typical homepage call to actions and how often they show up on a university website.

Give - 84%
Apply - 56%
Visit - 40%

Logo Placement

Not too surprising to see how this turned out, especially since a large majority of the survey was for English speaking institutions. Left to right reading just makes sense and thus the logo place goes with that.

92% have the logo to the left
8% have the logo centered
0% have the logo to the right

Main Hero Content

The use of images or videos is key to getting your message across. Images are great for fast load time, video is great for showing a lot of information in a short amount of time. Some of the hiccups we find have more to do with the team that supports these then the load time. You don't want your content to get stale so you need to be updating this content frequently. Without a solid team behind you, updating video can be the biggest challenge and images just make sense.

30% - Carousel
46% - Image
24% - Video

Our design team aims to improve the user experience from start to finish by optimizing for usability and accessibility. We approach every project with a "user-first" mindset, providing your users with the best possible experience. The result, a website or app that users find easy to use, increasing applications and conversions.

Connect with us to learn how we can help your website get the attention it deserves.

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