University of Delaware Website and Digital Strategy
Goals: Increase engagement and encourage dialog by providing a distinctive experience with clear pathways to find information on a more integrated multi-platform website that is accessible from smartphones, tablets and desktops.
Partnered with a local office of a national agency for audience behavior research and system development to turn static HTML into a modern, engaging digital experience, starting with the institution’s homepage and associated subpages. The project scope quickly grew for the initial launch to include undergraduate admissions, a multimedia library and the institution’s online news site.
Building the homepage theme around, “sense of place,” the in-house team worked in tandem with the agency parter and led development of a new content strategy, site structure, layouts and templates, page design, build out, content migration, code review, multimedia creation and curation and extensive testing to launch the refreshed websites in Adobe Experience Manager. Initial success included stronger UX with greater engagement on site, fewer pages yet more diverse content, ease of multi-platform distribution, increased traffic through organic search and owned channels as well as an increase in time on site, decrease in the bounce rate, increased mobile traffic and more pageviews per visit.
Cohesive Branding and UX
While the initial project scope covered four sites, there were still hundreds of other websites, including high profiles ones such as the colleges, research, global and alumni relations, on other web platforms. However, it was critical to create a stronger user experience among these sites, despite the various, incompatible systems.
The in-house team developed global elements for a header and footer system that could scale across all sites to have a more consistent brand and improved UX. For sites that needed greater support and improvements, the team designed and developed branded templates in WordPress that could quickly and easily be implemented by units to help improve the overall digital brand experience.
DIGITAL CONTENT PACKAGES
In parallel to launching a website management system, the institution developed a new strategy to guide creation and deployment of digital content to ensure it was optimized with messages that aligned for the target audience on each platform.
To show this new strategy in action, the digital team partnered with media relations, creative, multimedia and college communications teams to create a series of microsites with digital content packages, where individual pieces served as recruitment tools, press pitches and marketing collateral all while improving SEO across multiple channels.
As inclusive content experiences, these sites were comprised of original videos, infographics, user-generated social media, photo galleries, news stories, curated links and profiles of faculty experts and students.