A well-designed, well-organized website cannot be overstated, even decades after the dawn of the internet. Given that the average user spends 15 seconds on a webpage, your site must be designed and written intentionally to be worthwhile. In a recent project, we reinvigorated the website for Undergraduate Research Office and Creative Activity at Michigan State University to better serve their audiences.
This site houses a fair bit of content, so user flow was top of mind. We reorganized the navigation model so users can find what they need quickly and intuitively.
In order to attract new undergrad students, copy explaining undergraduate research needed to be front and center. We reorganized the homepage to house introductory language, injecting it with a rousing tone to excite students:
Undergraduate research provides a unique channel for exploring your particular academic discipline that you just can’t get in the classroom. You’ll engage with material on a deeper level and refine your knowledge in practical applications. Books are great, but the fun lies in doing.
Effective websites require time, logic, and thoughtfulness. When you keep in mind your user's objective, organizing content becomes easier. And when you apply the appropriate tone, your content becomes more engaging.
Remember: websites are living things. The process of maintaining them is ongoing, and when you make it a point to consistently audit them, you'll know when it's time for a refresh.
Your site can be your most powerful tool if you treat right.