As Los Angeles’ first and only liberal arts college, Occidental has an unflagging commitment to provide a truly superior academic experience for its students. The problem with their existing site was that prospective and current students found it difficult to find all the information they needed in one easily accessible place. Across all user groups there were complaints about navigation, and content was often out of date. There was also the perception that the site did not reflect the atmosphere on campus or the brand identity.
37% Increase in Outbound Referrals to the Common Application
26% Increase in Referrals to the Admissions Portal
20% Increase in Mobile Traffic
We started by auditing OXY’s content and reviewing what was really necessary. Many pages hadn’t been touched in years. We were able to remove about half of all pages after this review. We also used our content audit and analytics review to completely retool the primary navigation, making it easier for students to find what they were looking for. We built a content strategy around driving traffic to the apply pages, and those pages saw a 70% increase in traffic.
The current CMS configuration was difficult to use and understand. Simple tasks were cumbersome to complete, and there was difficulty formatting content within the text editor. With a clean version of Drupal, we were able to migrate content over and make editing easier. Modular components were developed to give editors flexibility when creating pages on the website, while staying on-brand.
Prospective students want to know about alumni outcomes and how the Oxy program is distinct from others. The new site’s reworked navigation makes it easier to find that information and puts alumni stories front and center.
A Sense of Place
OXY's identity is uniquely tied to Los Angeles. They are an intellectual and cultural hub that has prepared young people like Barack Obama and Ben Affleck. We wanted their brand to shine through the new designs: refined, academic and intimate.