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BEST PRACTICES FOR TOP
TASK WEB DESIGN:
HIGHER ED EXAMPLES
©ROBERTE.JOHNSON,PH.D.2016
Bob Johnson, Ph.D.
Academic Impressi...
KEEP. IT. SIMPLE.
What do most people
want from your website?
Fast task completion.
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 2
THE GOLDEN RULE…
<5 seconds to connect
as a page opens.
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 3
THE TOP TASK WEBSITE
DESIGN GOAL…
Quick identification of the
path to top tasks.
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 4
Attention to Jakob Nielsen…
http://www.nngroup.com/articles/university-sites/
Top 10 Design Guidelines… My favorites…
• #5...
TOP TASK RESEARCH
RESULTS
3 to 5 tasks dominate from lists of 60
to 100 possibilities.
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 6
Please choose and score the TOP FIVE tasks from the list
below that best describe what is important to you when
choosing t...
Top future student tasks…
• “Traditional” undergrad students…
• Academic programs
• Costs & financial aid
• Investment ret...
Topics among the bottom 20 tasks…
• Social media connections
• Info about alumni, presidents, and deans
• School news
• Pr...
Top task ID process…
http://www.digitalgov.gov/2015/02/06/top-task-usability-design-for-your-users/
Bob Johnson Consulting...
Guide to the research…
http://www.customercarewords.com/top-tasks-identification-overview/
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 11
HOME PAGE EXAMPLES…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 12
Top website design winner in 2013…
London’s Design Museum award… http://bit.ly/HfxFAq
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC... @high...
Top tasks link collections…
http://umanitoba.ca/
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 14
Finding top tasks via “search”…
http://www.xavier.edu/
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC ... @HighEdMarketing 15
Carousel co-existence…
https://www.vu.edu.au/
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 16
“Estimate cost and aid”…
http://www.lynn.edu/
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 17
University of Ottawa in 2014…
https://www.uottawa.ca/en
University of Ottawa in 2016…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 19
STUDENT
RECRUITMENT…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 20
Tasks in the admissions cycle…
http://www.esu.edu/admissions
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 21
Rapid cost estimator…
http://www.wellesley.edu/admission/affordable/myintuition
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC ... @HighEdMar...
Fast scholarship qualification…
http://scholarships.eku.edu/estimator
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 23
Online transfer credit information…
https://www.franklin.edu/transfer-credit-college-course-equivalency-tool
Bob Johnson C...
Alumni career info by academic major…
http://www.colgate.edu/distinctly-colgate/success-after-colgate
Bob Johnson Consulti...
Brief inquiry capture form…
http://online.gannon.edu/request-more-information
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 26
Professional schools keep it simple…
http://bit.ly/1aDruV9
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 27
ADVANCEMENT &
ALUMNI…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 28
Easy to scan key campaign numbers…
http://www.giveto.pitt.edu/campaign/data
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 29
27 alumni tasks get center position…
http://alumni.psu.edu/
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 30
Alumni home page networking task…
http://apps.carleton.edu/alumni/
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 31
Top tasks for alumni accounts…
http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/lefa/
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 32
“Browse by topic” for IU news in 2013…
http://newsinfo.iu.edu/
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 33
The newsroom site, 2016 version…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 34
ACADEMIC PROGRAMS &
SERVICES…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 35
Top tasks for study abroad…
http://studyabroad.arcadia.edu/
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 36
6 important library tasks…
http://www.stritch.edu/library/
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 37
Top tasks for international students…
http://www.uio.no/english/student-life/
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 38
Quick facts with unusual clarity…
https://www.transy.edu/about/facts.htm
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 39
Important faculty details…
http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/enam/faculty
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 40
WRAPPING UP…
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 41
Top task steps to remember…
• For any audience, 3 to 5 tasks stand out as most
important.
• People should see top tasks im...
THANKS FOR BEING
HERE IN CINCINNATI!
Bob Johnson, Ph.D.
bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com
www.bobjohnsonconsulting.com
@highedm...
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Best Practices for Top Task Website Design: 22 Higher Education Examples

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You make people happy with your website and gain marketing strength when your website lets visitors quickly find and complete the top tasks that brought them to the site.

This presentation reviews the basics of top task research and shows examples of college and university websites in 4 key areas: home pages, student recruitment, advancement & alumni, and academic programs and services.

Published in: Business

Best Practices for Top Task Website Design: 22 Higher Education Examples

  1. 1. BEST PRACTICES FOR TOP TASK WEB DESIGN: HIGHER ED EXAMPLES ©ROBERTE.JOHNSON,PH.D.2016 Bob Johnson, Ph.D. Academic Impressions: Planning for a Higher Ed Website Redesign Cincinnati, OH: February 28 – March 2 Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 1
  2. 2. KEEP. IT. SIMPLE. What do most people want from your website? Fast task completion. Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 2
  3. 3. THE GOLDEN RULE… <5 seconds to connect as a page opens. Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 3
  4. 4. THE TOP TASK WEBSITE DESIGN GOAL… Quick identification of the path to top tasks. Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 4
  5. 5. Attention to Jakob Nielsen… http://www.nngroup.com/articles/university-sites/ Top 10 Design Guidelines… My favorites… • #5 • “Make it easy to view a list of majors and programs.” • #8 • “Follow the user journey: check the main tasks for each of your audiences.” • #9 • “Beware the perils of making your website ‘cool.’“ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 5
  6. 6. TOP TASK RESEARCH RESULTS 3 to 5 tasks dominate from lists of 60 to 100 possibilities. Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 6
  7. 7. Please choose and score the TOP FIVE tasks from the list below that best describe what is important to you when choosing to go to university. 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 1 6 11 16 21 26 31 36 41 46 51 56 Vote Tasks Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 7
  8. 8. Top future student tasks… • “Traditional” undergrad students… • Academic programs • Costs & financial aid • Investment return after graduating. • “Adult” students add… • Time to complete a program • Flexible scheduling Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 8
  9. 9. Topics among the bottom 20 tasks… • Social media connections • Info about alumni, presidents, and deans • School news • Profiles and connections to current students Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 9
  10. 10. Top task ID process… http://www.digitalgov.gov/2015/02/06/top-task-usability-design-for-your-users/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 10
  11. 11. Guide to the research… http://www.customercarewords.com/top-tasks-identification-overview/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 11
  12. 12. HOME PAGE EXAMPLES… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 12
  13. 13. Top website design winner in 2013… London’s Design Museum award… http://bit.ly/HfxFAq Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC... @highedmarketing 13
  14. 14. Top tasks link collections… http://umanitoba.ca/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 14
  15. 15. Finding top tasks via “search”… http://www.xavier.edu/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC ... @HighEdMarketing 15
  16. 16. Carousel co-existence… https://www.vu.edu.au/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 16
  17. 17. “Estimate cost and aid”… http://www.lynn.edu/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 17
  18. 18. University of Ottawa in 2014… https://www.uottawa.ca/en
  19. 19. University of Ottawa in 2016… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 19
  20. 20. STUDENT RECRUITMENT… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 20
  21. 21. Tasks in the admissions cycle… http://www.esu.edu/admissions Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 21
  22. 22. Rapid cost estimator… http://www.wellesley.edu/admission/affordable/myintuition Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC ... @HighEdMarketing 22
  23. 23. Fast scholarship qualification… http://scholarships.eku.edu/estimator Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 23
  24. 24. Online transfer credit information… https://www.franklin.edu/transfer-credit-college-course-equivalency-tool Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC ... @HighEdMarketing 24
  25. 25. Alumni career info by academic major… http://www.colgate.edu/distinctly-colgate/success-after-colgate Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 25
  26. 26. Brief inquiry capture form… http://online.gannon.edu/request-more-information Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 26
  27. 27. Professional schools keep it simple… http://bit.ly/1aDruV9 Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 27
  28. 28. ADVANCEMENT & ALUMNI… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 28
  29. 29. Easy to scan key campaign numbers… http://www.giveto.pitt.edu/campaign/data Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 29
  30. 30. 27 alumni tasks get center position… http://alumni.psu.edu/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 30
  31. 31. Alumni home page networking task… http://apps.carleton.edu/alumni/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 31
  32. 32. Top tasks for alumni accounts… http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/lefa/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 32
  33. 33. “Browse by topic” for IU news in 2013… http://newsinfo.iu.edu/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 33
  34. 34. The newsroom site, 2016 version… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 34
  35. 35. ACADEMIC PROGRAMS & SERVICES… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 35
  36. 36. Top tasks for study abroad… http://studyabroad.arcadia.edu/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 36
  37. 37. 6 important library tasks… http://www.stritch.edu/library/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 37
  38. 38. Top tasks for international students… http://www.uio.no/english/student-life/ Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 38
  39. 39. Quick facts with unusual clarity… https://www.transy.edu/about/facts.htm Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 39
  40. 40. Important faculty details… http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/enam/faculty Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 40
  41. 41. WRAPPING UP… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 41
  42. 42. Top task steps to remember… • For any audience, 3 to 5 tasks stand out as most important. • People should see top tasks immediately (5 seconds or less) as a web page opens. • Priority to task words especially important in a mobile view. • For recruitment, ask admissions people what questions future students most often ask. • Beware of “cool” features that do not contribute to task completion. • Reduce content bloat as much as possible. Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC 42
  43. 43. THANKS FOR BEING HERE IN CINCINNATI! Bob Johnson, Ph.D. bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com www.bobjohnsonconsulting.com @highedmarketing Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC ... @HighEdMarketing 43

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