The 2020 University & College Designers Association (UCDA) Design Competition honors mStoner clients with three Awards of Excellence and one Honorable Mention in the Website category for their recent and successful redesigns.
The judges of the annual UCDA Design Competition evaluated 823 print and digital entries, awarding 181 awards—7 Gold Awards, 14 Silver Awards and 160 Awards of Excellence.
DSU unveiled a new visual identity in May 2019. To further its branding efforts, DSU developed a new website to support the new brand and main business goal: to improve the digital experience of prospective undergraduate students considering DSU through strategic insights gained by mapping the customer journey. A secondary goal was to highlight the research and academic strengths of the university and its faculty and leadership.
DSU launched a multichannel marketing campaign along with the website to roll out the new brand. “We’re hearing people say they have never seen the amount of marketing that they’ve seen from DSU,” Joelle Johnson, DSU website editor, said. “We’re running digital and out-of-the-box strategies in our campaigns. But no matter how people arrive at the website, they all have a consistent experience with our brand. The site itself is just visually beautiful, and the side navigation and all of the components mStoner created really promote our identity as a university that is moving forward or rising, which is our tagline. We have definitely seen an increase in awareness of who we are and what we offer.”
PNW formed in 2015 from a merger of two separate Purdue campuses: Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central. Both campuses had 70 years of history and accomplishment to share on a combined website and PNW also needed to layer a new brand identity atop that complex story. Understandably, the first website that PNW launched was an okay-for-now mashup of 27,000 pages. They knew it suffered from a lot of outdated content, a sprawling information architecture, and an unmanageable back-end — but it would be two more years before the timing was right to fully redesign.
PNW’s Director of Web Services James Seidler reports that the strongest success they have seen is the performance of their academic program pages. Traffic to program pages increased 215% over a four-week period (prior to COVID-19). The new site also features a request for information (RFI) form at the very top of each program page, which captures visitors’ interest in the specific program.
Marymount California University wanted to better understand the existing perceptions and brand awareness of the institution among key constituencies. This was an effort to gain strategies and tactics that would consolidate the University’s brand and strategic vision.
mStoner worked closely with MCU’s branding partner to develop an eye-catching website based off of previous CMS recommendations. The CMS configuration, content development and migration process, and analytics implementation we’re huge successes for MCU.
Pat Frantz Cercone, executive director of communications and marketing at Pitt-Bradford, knew it was time for a website redesign. “It had been a while — longer than we’d like. We knew that we were behind and certainly wanted to have a beautiful, amazing website,” she said. “We also knew that people’s actions on a website have changed. Not only did we need a redesign, but we also needed to make sure that it was easier for our audiences to get to the information that they needed.”
She saw an opportunity to accomplish two major, related goals. First, make the website work better for its most important audience: prospective students. Second, showcase what really sets Pitt-Bradford apart.
The first couple months of results have been very encouraging. Traffic is up on key pages such as admissions, academics, and program pages. Overall time spent on the site has nearly doubled. Ultimately, Cercone feels Pitt-Bradford now has a site that more clearly illustrates all the advantages of a Pitt-Bradford education.
“We’ve gotten a great response,” she said. “This new design helps us to communicate what makes us special in a much more impactful way. I can write all the words I want — and I do write lots of words about how beautiful it is here and what that means for students or for recruiting faculty and staff — but a photo of the reservoir, or some kids going rock climbing or skiing, really can say so much more than I can.”
Want to see more award-winning work from mStoner? Check out our full list of case studies.
Travis Koury Marketing Specialist As marketing specialist, Travis Koury shares mStoner’s thought leadership and service offerings across a multitude of channels. He thoughtfully applies digital marketing best practices to ensure higher education marketing and communication professionals can easily discover and access mStoner’s helpful resources, primary research, and on-demand content.