Digital Marketing Case Study: CBU | Speak Creative

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Christian Brothers University

Scholarships with Style

Project Goals

Christian Brothers University is a lively, private university that offers programs in arts, business, education, engineering and sciences. CBU came to Speak looking for a website that communicated their academic excellence, conveyed their true spirit, and promoted their values of faith, service and community.

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.

Intentional Design

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.”

75% more mobile traffic
43% more social engagement
33% time on page increase
500% more facebook likes

Located in the heart of Memphis

Recognizing that a student’s college experience goes far beyond the campus grounds, we worked with CBU to design a section of their website dedicated to life in Memphis. Already known for its music and barbecue, Memphis has a lot more to offer around town for entertainment, dining, shopping, recreation and more (after studying is done, of course). Through these pages, new and prospective students become acquainted with the city that will become their home away from home.

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