Your Higher Education Marketing Link of the Week… University of East Anglia: A “Scrollytelling” Home Page… 8 April 2022

“Scrollytelling” at University of East Anglia Home Page

University of East AngliaLet me confess at the start: “Scrollytelling” is a term I’d not heard of before visiting a blog post from the folks at TerminalFour who just published an article on “7 website design trends for 2022.” Here’s how TerminalFour describes the 2022 trends overall:

  • “Shifting from minimalist, image-led designs to bold typography, forward-thinking visual effects and retro themes, web design is taking a bold new turn and becoming more of an art form.”

For sure we are fans of “bold typography” and moving away from “image-led designs” but for now we’ll reserve judgement are the virtue of websites “becoming more of an art form.”

Scrollytelling…

One of the 7 trends that TerminalFour describes is “scrollytelling”:

  • “In another nudge away from minimalist design, immersive pages that tell a story as you scroll are rising in popularity.
  • “This has the goal of surprising and delighting users.
  • “And there seems to be ever more creativity in this approach with some examples adopting parallax, three-dimensional effects alongside moving imagery and topography.
  • “It can encourage users to reach the bottom of the page and absorb more messaging, preventing them from getting lost along the way.”

Terminal Four describes the East Anglia example this way:

  • “The University of East Anglia is ahead of the curve here, taking users on a journey from space to seabed with its intergalactic interface. This gives way to mountain terrain and the depths of the ocean–really telling the story of the University’s work and selling its gravitas to prospective students.”

The East Anglia home page story…

University of East AngliaThis is a home page focused on student recruitment, with an opening message to potential students to “Be Part of Our Story” and content that scrolls to tell a story of the contribution the university is making to combat climate change and encourage use of sustainable energy sources.

An immediate interactive feature is a large search box rather than detailed navigation. For visitors who arrive at the page with a specific destination in mind this might well take them off the home page without scrolling further down. Remember, many (maybe most) people come to a home page to leave it as quickly as possible to complete a top task that first brought them to the site.

Someone at East Anglia might have suspected that mobile visitors might use the search box without learning about the story: A prompt urges visitors to “Scroll to Begin Journey.”

Speed on mobile…

Google PageSpeed Insights measures home page time to first view on a mobile phone as a slow 13.2 seconds, well above the recommended 5 seconds. Complete interactivity is measured as a very slow 30.3 seconds.

The primary offender in this case is not excessive java script use (that’s 5th on the list of recommended ways to improve speed) but a near tie between “serve images in next-gen formats” and “defer offscreen images.”

Website Carbon Calculator…

This week we introduce a carbon calculator index to our Link of the Week selections. Thanks to Gerry McGovern and his efforts to reduce “world wide waste” for the referral.

The East Anglia results: “This web page is dirtier than 91% of web pages tested.” The calculator, by the way, does note that “This web page appears to be running on sustainable energy” even as it uses quite a bit of it.

See the carbon use details for East Anglia and test your own home page at “Website Carbon Calculator.”

Follow the Link of the Week…

Experience an example of scrollytelling at the University of East Anglia home page.

Recommend a future Link of the Week

Always eager to get recommendations of websites that dare to be different… or just do something ordinary in a special way. Write a comment with link here or send me the link at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com.

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