Clear Paths to Content Set this Institutional Research Site Apart from Most Others
When most people visit a college or university research site they are looking for content of special interest. Relatively few visitors want to first read a mission statement, a note on “Who we are” or the goals of the IR office that get prominent display on many IR sites.
Colorado State University takes a different design path: 6 clear blocks immediately underneath an opening text that almost everyone visiting the site on a desktop or laptop computer can easily skip. Visitors can scan the options available in less than 5 seconds and quickly move along to what interests them most:
•Data and Analysis
•Surveys and Rankings
On a smartphone, the impact is not as strong. The vertical mobile display column makes the short mission statement more prominent, although the first of the 6 content blocks does appear. Our recommendation from a mobile-friendliness perspective: open on mobile with the 6 content blocks and place the mission text after that.
The new version of Google’s Test My Site evaluation gives the IR page a “fair” rating of 7 seconds for download speed. If you check your site using the new “Think with Google” measures, run two or three tests as the results will vary. Three tests of this page gave speed times of 5 to 8 seconds.
Follow the Link of the Week
To see how the design of an Institutional Research page can make it quick and easy for vistors to find content of interest, visit Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness at Colorado State University.