I have recently begun a redesign on the degree pages for our site. The goal is to get rid of a lot of the text but still provide students with the information that they are looking for. Also we need these pages to server better as landing pages than they currently do. Landing pages are designed to complete a specific goal or conversion, and in our case it would be to gather information about prospective students. One of the reasons we now have contact forms on all our prospective students’ pages is to help gather this information. The task to develop both a successful landing page and a useful informational page is not an easy one. These pages would be better served by having two different pages, but because current students also use these pages, it is what we have to work with.
While all the details of these pages have not yet been worked out, we are tentatively planning on having two types of degree pages. One with a video and one without. The long-term goal being to create some sort of video for each of our degrees, or at least the most popular ones. We are not sure what exactly we want these videos to be, but we think they will be either a student centered testimonial video describing a student or students’ success in the program and what they thought about it or some sort of video from a faculty member about the program. We want something captivating and interesting that doesn’t feel like an ad but more like someone giving advice or their impression of the program.
The two types of pages look pretty much the same, but knowing that will help you realize why one of these examples has a video on it. The standard page layout will be as follows:
First of all, ignore the related degree options. I am showing those three only because those are the other three I am working with. In the final version obviously these degrees that are actually related to the program that a person is looking at. Hopefully the place your eyes went to first is that nice red button. We want to encourage people to request information about these degrees so we can start the contact process.
The next key area of the degree page is the overview on the left. Currently on our website we do not have tuition broken down for each degree. Sometimes prices can vary wildly from degree to degree, and this will allow us to accurately show estimated tuition information for the different types of programs we offer. The credits required box will help students see the number of credits required for the different degrees. We have removed the giant chard in favor of simply stating the delivery method. IVC and Face-to-Face will read “Classroom” and Online/Hybrid courses will read “Online.” We know that students primarily want to know if they can get a degree either online or at a campus. Also, instead of having the big chart we are simply listing the campuses where they can get the degree.
We have added a careers box to help students understand the types of careers that are obtainable from different degree options. We have also added related degree options for those students who may not quite be sure what degree they want, but know what they are interested in. It also gives us the opportunity to expose students to upper level degrees that are related to undergraduate degrees they may not know about.
Campus Degree Pages
I haven’t yet gone through the ins and outs of what theses pages would look like on the campus sites, but they would look essentially the same. Instead of delivery I would probably change that to simply indicate if the degree is also available online if it is a degree that is both available in a campus classroom and online. I would most likely just hide the campus locations information because if they are already on a campus site, they are most likely going to take classes there and there is no reason to show other locations. The tricky part will be to show only related degree options that are offered at the campus they are looking at, but I am sure I can figure that out.
A Few More Details
Rather than take screen shots of each part of the page, I’ll let you look at these pages so you can see how they work. The “Degree Summary” box is a bit interactive. If you click on the question marks you are presented with additional information about that item. The back side of the box contains additional info and links to relevant information that students may need, but not necessarily. Again these pages are not complete, but this is the general idea and I would love to hear your thoughts on what you like/don’t like and how they can be further improved.
To see the above page live click here. The only active pages are the ones listed in the “Related Degree Options.” If you try to go out to degrees & programs and choose a degree other than the five I am messing with you might get an error or it just won’t work as expected. The Agribusiness degree page has a video. The Interdisciplinary Studies degree is an example of a degree with multiple delivery types. The Engineering Degree is testing a Hybrid Degree. The MBA degree is testing a degree with a set tuition rates (special program) different from the regular tuition.
Also, the body copy for these degrees has not been edited/updated. These would all read more as a summary of the degree and deferring to the department website for more information.