Deeply Rooted and Thriving
CBU was heavily involved in the design process, sharing their long-term goals and vision for the website and collaborating on rich content. Established in 1871, the school is characterized as a university deeply rooted in their history and traditions. While paying homage to that long standing history, it was important to maintain a fresh appearance to attract prospective students and their families. CBU officials expressed it was also important to showcase their active campus life and demonstrate their rigorous academic programs. Considering all these factors, our design team captured the essence of CBU’s identity and created a stunning, digital representation of the university. The new CBU site was born.
First impressions are crucial. The homepage opens with large-format, rotating images that capture the user’s attention and depict life on campus through the eyes of students. The images are strategically positioned behind a statement that speaks directly to CBU’s target audience, causing them to imagine life as a student. Along the right side of the page, subtle tabs are included that are noticeable but do not take away from the rotating banner. These tabs expand when the user hovers over them and expose important actionable items – Apply, Visit and Giving – that advance institutional goals. A custom designed section below the fold features animated counters highlighting key statistics of the university. As the user scrolls, each counter reaches its final result. This interactive design presents noteworthy data that is visually stimulating and compels users to stop and take it in.
The remaining content on the homepage includes areas of high interest, such as Academic Programs, News, Events and Sports. A well-balanced, interactive grid of information links to the internal pages. Beyond the home page, users are able to research academic programs, learn about campus life, and gather considerable information for selecting a university to attend. Current students and faculty have access to an intranet through the website which allows them to log in and manage their accounts, emails, courses and more.
The visual appeal of a website is noticed first, but its functionality is equally important. Each element of CBU’s website has a place because it has a purpose. Ease of navigation was a major focus in the design process. The content is arranged intuitively, guiding users naturally through the arrangement of information. Vivid photography and other graphics balance the content to keep the user engaged and help the user process the information. Throughout the site, content is also paired with strategically placed call-to-action buttons that accelerate the appropriate next steps, including “Visit,” “Apply” and “Request More Info.”