For anyone – whether students, parents, educators or adult learners – choosing the right education option can be difficult. There are many challenges to overcome and resources to consider, all while trying to figure out what the end goal of their education really is.
The Indiana Commission For Higher Education (ICHE) understood this challenge and asked Matchbook Creative for help. ICHE wanted to make its website more intuitive and easier to navigate. The site suggests educational options for its audience based on user input as well as provide resources for anyone interested in education in Indiana.
Here’s how our web developers and the rest of our team tackled the project:
Related: The New Learn More Indiana Website
Everything Matchbook Creative does is rooted in strategic thinking. In the case of the Learn More Indiana website, multiple web audits drove the action.
Audits and surveys showed that the website was seen as difficult to navigate and many pieces of information were located in many different places. Matchbook recommended condensing a lot of the information, which streamlined the site from about 140 web pages down to about 70.
Matchbook looked at what the site’s top pages were and how they were displayed to users. The top tabs indicated career, college and cost were the site’s most popular pages, leading us to find new ways to bring those pages to the forefront while emphasizing mobile design responsiveness.
Overall, the key was simplicity for the user with a focus on consolidating information. By combining many pages with very little text or imagery on them,
Matchbook also refined the site’s search engine optimization.
“Google doesn’t know what to make of those, so we were able to provide a solution,” said Mark Arenz, Director of Digital Development at Matchbook Creative.
From kindergartners; to teens considering college; to experienced adults returning to college, the Learn More Indiana website is intended to make sense to everyone. In order to reach such a diverse audience, how do you keep your calls to action concise and effective?
Matchbook built code to automate the calls to action for each page that made them easier to manage and consistent with the site’s new look. Having to reach all parties also meant making sure the reading levels were appropriate. We audited the reading level of each page and made adjustments to the reading level based on who the page was intended for. For instance, web pages for educators needed to remain at a college reading level while others needed to be simplified.
Aesthetically, Matchbook made subtle touches to design items such as flip cards and accordion elements that brought them more to life. Color coding was used throughout the site to generate clear consumer paths for our different audiences, and again emphasize call to actions.
Not only did Matchbook deliver a streamlined product for users, the project also allowed for a better maintenance process. As updates to the website’s content were necessary, ICHE constantly had to make edits in dozens of different places. Matchbook streamlined the website’s data entry, allowing ICHE to make updates in one place.
Matchbook also reduced number of plug-ins on the site, which were slowing it down and adding security risks. The site used 30 plug-ins and that number was greatly minimized.
Customized form logic now allows users to input their information to directly connect them to state government contacts who could help them. For prospective students looking for help paying for college, Matchbook installed additional logic to point people to scholarships based on their interests and profile.
The expansive logic and the wide reach of its intended audience placed ICHE’s Learn More Indiana project among Matchbook’s largest web engagements to date. We took pride not only in making the site easier for users to navigate, but also by making it easier for CHE to maintain it.
If you’re in need of a web overhaul or you want to build from scratch, contact us today!