Hero Image or Top Task Design? UNO Home Page Does Both
Nothing can be more contentious than a college or university home page design. And too often the need for “glitz and glamour” as the page opens wins the day. Hero images, aerial video of the campus quad, and marketing claims substitute for a clean, simple focus on the top tasks that bring potential students to a website. Top Tasks are pushed low on the page, if they appear at all.
The new home page at University of Nebraska Omaha joins a rare group (Bellarmine University and Xavier University are others) that combine both approaches by placing a key link over the opening hero image. No need to add a “scroll” prompt to make sure visitors move below the opening scene.
The new home page is part of an ongoing improvement process, based on research into how UNO visitors, especially potential students, are using the site. Jason Buzzell, director of digital communications, tweeted: “Launched our new home page with a focus on top task for prospectives like Find: people, programs, contact info and dates. long ways still to go in the underbelly but we’re going!”
The mobile home page view is especially strong. Yes, people will scroll on mobile or desktop. But better to present key links as soon as the mobile page opens without a need to scroll. That’s what the UNO home page does.
The key top task: “Find Your Program” is in a position visitors can’t miss. Information request and campus visit links are not far behind. A top task that is not quite as prominent: “affordability” content. A easy-to-find “Value” link does lead to a page with clear sticker price cost information.
For a detailed report on the research behind the new home page visit “New Homepage Focuses on Prospective Students and What They Have in Mind about UNO.”
Google Test My Site gives the UNO home page a “Good” 5 second mobile speed rating, estimating a 19 percent “visitor loss due to loading time.”
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Admire a new University of Nebraska Omaha home page that combines hero images with student recruitment top tasks. Visit here.
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