“Imagine you are a 17-year-old high school student from North Carolina visiting the Sacred Heart University website for the first time. Now ask yourself, what information would I be looking to find or to do on the home page? Now briefly sketch what that home page might look like.”
>>> Play Video of Our Sketching Session with New City
The task is not as easy as it sounds, but last week, over 30 faculty, staff and students participated in a website sketching session with New City, our website redesign firm. Participants were divided up into 5 groups and given a different persona of a prospective student or parent and asked to sketch a homepage to fit the needs of that user.
New City representatives, Rebekah Godshall, Eva Floyd and Sara Andrew, spent four days on campus last week reporting back on research findings, conducting this sketching session as well as several other wire framing and design exercises with the Marketing & Communications Team. Based on research, interviews, results of the KJ sessions conducted during their last visit and these sketchboarding exercises, top level navigation and home page priorities were discussed and mapped out to set the stage for our site architecture.
On Thursday, the senior management team attended a design gut check exercise. Participants were shown 30 different websites for 20 seconds on a big screen and asked to give their initial or gut reaction to the website’s design appeal (typography, use of photography, layout, color, features, links, etc.) by rating each from 1 – 5 (1 being the worst and 5 being the best). The results were tallied and the group spent time discussing their likes and dislikes. “I definitely see a trend in the results,” commented Sara Andrews, lead web designer with New City.
It was an enlightening and productive week spent with New City and representatives across campus. The results and conclusions of last week’s exercises together with the information gathered from their previous campus visits and research completed to date will help New City with the creative direction of our home page design and top level landing pages. When we return from our holiday break in January, New City will begin creating home page design concepts.
Until then, have a wonderful holiday season and best wishes in the New Year!
With warm regards,
The Web Content Management Team
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