As we rethink our website, we’re challenged to ‘Think Different’ about why we have a website, who visits and how it’s used.
Why do we have a website?
This seems like a reasonable question but our site doesn’t have a single purpose. In fact, it’s not even one website; it’s many websites, managed by many people, serving many audiences. So the answer is….it depends on who is visiting and why.
Who visits our website?
mStoner developed personas for our target audiences that represent the qualities and motivations of a protypical visitor.
How do visitors find information?
Pretend for a moment you’re Matt, ‘The Local’ prospective student, looking for UND’s general education requirements (we call these Essential Studies). In our current site, you’re navigation path is to select Academics from the main global navigation then pick Essential Studies. The problem is Matt doesn’t know what Essential Studies is so he uses our internal search and types “general education”. The top search result takes him to a page that explains UND’s general education goals with a link to UND’s 2009 general education courses. Obviously, this frustrates Matt.
How will we accommodate our visitors?
Trying to serve multiple audiences equally on the same page will ultimately disappoint them all. That’s why our main site will focus on prospective students and present content in terms and structures that make the most sense to them (not to us).
We’re learning organizing a site based on visitor needs and not our organizational structure is easier said than done. To pull this off, we have to think different and put ourselves in Matt’s shoes.