The 49th Annual University & College Designers Association (UCDA) Design Competition honors mStoner clients with a Silver Award in the Recruitment Website category for Carleton College’s Admission Website and two Awards of Excellence, to Park University and the University of North Dakota, in the Website category for their recent and successful redesigns.
Lipscomb University and Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame received honorable mentions in the Website category.
The judges of the annual UCDA Design Competition evaluated 1,061 print and digital entries, awarding 234 awards overall—6 Gold Awards, 11 Silver Awards and 215 Awards of Excellence.
Carleton College’s ultimate goal for the relaunch of its admissions section centered on creating a dynamic, authentic, and immersive experience for prospective students and their families. The college wanted an admissions site that had a consistent tone and style. A site in which every page would convey the brand and demonstrate the Carleton experience. A site in which every word, photo, video, infographic, and social post had meaning and resonance.
Launched in May 2018, the new admission site delivers on the college’s ambitions. Stunning photography, engaging content, and delightful microinteractions all speak to the culture and community that is singularly Carleton.
Park University Director of Marketing Aimee Patton set a single, clear goal for this website redesign: “Generate inquiries from prospective students.” A simple enough challenge, until you consider that Park serves six separate prospective student audiences from more than 80 countries: undergraduates, graduates, military/veteran students, international students, transfer students, and working professionals. Throw in overlapping interests between these audiences, different degrees within the same field of study, dozens of campus locations on military bases, multiple course formats (online, in‐person, and hybrid), and mission‐critical content for faculty, staff, alumni, and current students and voilá! It’s a spaghetti bowl! Bon appétit!
Patton and the mStoner team met this challenge with their combined knowledge of best practices in creating rich user experiences. We created clean pathways for each type of visitor, an easy‐to‐use program finder, breezy inquiry forms, a campus exploration tool, eminently clickable calls‐to‐action, and a number of other customized features designed for Park’s myriad prospective students.
“Now we have a seamless way for people to identify what type of student they are, get quickly off of our homepage and into the funnel, and then get the information they need that’s relevant just to them. The user experience is really thought out and more individualized,” — Aimee Patton, director of marketing, Park University
Did the new site meet Patton’s goal of increasing inquiries? Absolutely. In fact, the site is generating more inquiries than expected. In a year‐over‐year comparison of March to February, inquiries from the website increased 17% and applications from the website increased 13%.
UND’s needs were clear: a cohesive, comprehensive site that could serve more than 13,000 students in at least 250 academic programs and a way for its staff to manage all that content. Most important, UND wanted to reach an audience it hadn’t expressly prioritized before — prospective students.
In that spirit, mStoner and UND identified three major content strategy goals:
“There’s a little bit of a marketing slant in the messaging. We tried very hard to differentiate each program, to give a prospective student a reason to want more information about it.”— Tera Buckley, assistant director of marketing and creative services at University of North Dakota
Buckley reports that UND’s newly recruitment‐focused site, with straightforward calls to action, is generating leads — lots of them. “The new site generates leads at 5x the rate of the old site!” she says, celebrating the recruitment marketing success. Since launch, web inquiries increased 386% for undergraduate programs, and increased 138% for graduate programs.
Mallory Willsea Director of Marketing and Business Development Proud ENFJ, here! What does that mean for mStoner, besides entertaining colleagues with my wit and charm? I'm a problem-solver and enjoy working through our potential client's challenges to identify solutions and how a partnership with mStoner will bring value.