Recharging the University of New Haven

Posted: July 10, 2017

Carissa Hoel Director of Technical Strategy

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Where do you begin with a website redesign? Start with striking images. Draw in readers with interesting content and factoids. Carefully plot user-friendly navigation. 

Add in the commitment of a nearly 100-year-old university to taking their website to the next level, tie in hard work and collaboration – and you have a new and improved website!

In order to keep up with constantly changing technologies and the need for speed in finding information, higher ed institutions must continually search for ways to improve their web presence. We’ve found that many internal marketing departments have a long wishlist of improvements to add the needed “wow” factor to their websites. Finding the budget to make wishes come true is easier said than done – and fairy godmothers are in short supply nowadays. 

Instead of settling for less than the best, University of New Haven opted for a collaborative approach to make the most of their marketing resources.

Having recently invested in a new CMS, the University of New Haven chose to capitalize on the opportunity to re-invent the front-end user experience of their website at the same time. Their greatest need was a front-end development partner to code those visual updates. 

When we began our engagement with UNH, the scope of work included a small block of time dedicated for use by our creative team to review the existing Photoshop design files provided by the University and make minor suggestions and revisions. After the first review, we realized that there were opportunities to enhance their brand and modernize the visual approach – but these changes were outside of our scope of work. So, we got creative with where we could spend our time to add the most value. 

We’ve learned from experience that our best work comes from collaborating with our client partners and leveraging their expertise. 

Early on in the project, we learned that UNH had a very talented designer who was committed to working alongside our team to ensure the highest quality results. Instead of taking the traditional approach of designing multiple pages, sending them to the client for feedback and then making revisions, we suggested focusing all of our energy on those sections of the website that would have the greatest impact toward the University’s goals, such as the University home page and admissions page. Then, UNH’s designer would take over and use the universal design elements to create remaining page types. UNH was excited to take their website to the next level visually and jumped on board with the plan.

By devoting our interactive graphic designer full-time to those important pages, we provided UNH with a completely revamped design – leveraging a combination of our higher education web design best practices and the university’s understanding of its institutional brand and target audience. Collaboration throughout the project was crucial to creating a design that is both a modern reinforcement of the brand and visually stunning.

“My favorite part of this project was the collaboration with the University of New Haven,” says Director of Technical Strategy Carissa Hoel. “Together, we took the desire for a quick re-skin to a new level by leveraging the talent and knowledge of both teams. The result is a beautiful and modern responsive site moved to a more manageable and powerful CMS.”

In the end, it goes to show that when both teams bring their A-game and unique skills and knowledge to the table, one plus one can equal incredible results – no magic spells needed. 

Is your website’s battery life running low? Let us help you recharge your website, both maximizing results and minimizing costs.