University’s Entirely New Website Launches

Aug. 1, 2013
MNU.EDU

MNU launched a completely new website August 1, 2013. Designed with the end user in mind, the site has entirely new content, design, structure and navigation. The nearly year-long project was completed entirely in-house by the marketing communications staff who conducted research on award-winning higher education websites, attended training on site design and function, and held focus groups with end users during the process.

“The new site has been built around the key personas of 14 different types of users representing MNU’s key customers,” says Kim Campbell, marketing director. “Our research helped us uncover who personas were and what kinds of information and services they wanted on our site.”

The new content includes a microsite for all content related to traditional, undergraduate students, social media integration, an expanded and integrated newsroom and more video content. The team’s goal is to engage the user in the true MNU Experience.

“We want to give visitors to our site an authentic taste of what it is like to be a student at MNU,” Campbell says.

The hard work of restructuring the navigation and functionality of the site was the responsibility of MNU’s Web Communications Manager Amy Curtis and Web Developer Wesley Cripe.

“The new navigation and strategic structure of the site will ultimately benefit our users by making our site easy to use, with a single cohesive experience,” Curtis says. “We hope it is a site that ultimately makes it easy for the end user.”

To be successful, any website must be focused and it must tell your story. Being focused on our external audience makes the website easy to navigate for our most important customers—the prospective student and their parents, the professional or graduate student, alumni and MNU friends,” Campbell added.

The team researched data from higher education enrollment experts detailing the importance of the web in college search and how a website can support activities which lead to student application and enrollment. Campbell says the result is a more easily optimized site so that potential students will find it and find what they are looking for faster once they’re on the site.

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“To be successful, any website must be focused and it must tell your story. Being focused on our external audience makes the website easy to navigate for our most important customers—the prospective student and their parents, the professional or graduate student, alumni and MNU friends,” Campbell added.

Since mobile web traffic makes up around 16% of MNU’s total web traffic each month, the site will also launch in a responsive format for tablet users. Over time, the team will also work to make the site entirely responsive for mobile phones.