We completely redesigned the look and feel of the homepage, Program Finder, and Paying For It All sections to appeal to the recent high school grad. In keeping with their philosophy Graduation is not the end. It’s the beginning, the homepage hero area depicts the continuing, often nonlinear path most of these users face. The homepage layout was then streamlined to highlight the highest value content. We converted the Program Finder from two separate forms into one streamlined experience that now includes all stages and program types.
By researching and testing out potential names, the overwhelming response was our choice of gradplan.org.
The previous navigation was a main source of confusion for users. The nav bar click area only received 0.56% clicks.
• An overabundance of links: 2 rows of top nav, duplicated links in dropdown menus and a very complicated structure.
• Colloquial, yet unclear, link names.
• Dropdown menu items that took users unknowingly offsite.
Using a combination of stakeholder interviews and SEO research, we simplified the top nav into a single tier of links, and renamed them using popular terms that users could easily identify at a glance. We also pared down the number of pages directly accessible in the top nav, leaving lower-value pages accessible within content or end matter. We have already seen a 26% increase in users clicking on the top nav links.
Beyond top level navigation, content site-wide was lacking organization. While the content itself was high value, it was difficult to find deliberately in the long page accordions. The structure prevented users from being able to bookmark a specific resource, yet many individual tabs were not listed in the dropdown submenus.
After determining that the highest-value content was related to financial aid, we started with the Paying For It All section, developing a taxonomy. Each resource was made into its own webpage, complete with parent and child tag categories. Users can now sort, filter, and see related resources, and easily bookmark or share them.
The existing content was predominantly text only, which is not ideal for a Gen Z primary user. Based upon our research, it was clear that updating the content style and format was crucial to improve the stickiness and overall value of the site.
We sorted through text-only links and fleshed out the content, so users could determine the resource’s value. Then we began developing a branded graphic style, to turn bulleted lists and plain content into easy-to-digest graphics. We focused on formats that would also be sharable to GradPlan’s growing social media presence.
We’re making the human connection for this industry-leading power transformer manufacturer, with a complete agile website redesign and improved paid media. See their transformation for yourself.