UND will launch a redesign footer on February 2, 2022.
Request for More Links
The new footer comes after campus requests to include additional links in the footer. Thus, a usability and industry best practice study was done with mStoner – our higher ed expert web consultants we’ve partnered with for four years. We conducted this research because UND’s website is considered the gold standard in the industry, and we intended to keep it that way.
Data showed site visitors are clicking on (in order):
- Apply Now
- Contact Us
- Find Programs
- Request Information
Links seeing substantially fewer clicks will not be in the new footer because usability goes down with more links.
Universal Approach: The Rule of 7
Ever wonder why phone numbers have seven numbers? It’s because the average human can digest up to seven numbers at once. This same idea holds true for websites. We don’t want to present a visitor with more than seven links of equal weight. The site will suffer from poor click-through rates because visitors won’t sort through all links. You’ll notice the new footer has more than seven total links, but they are grouped in separate sections with different weights to not overwhelm visitors.
We created a standardized tiered footer structure to provide consistency and familiarity across all UND web properties. Various web properties (UND.edu, campus.UND.edu, colleges/schools, and unit sites) may use different footer components.
Section 1: The footer on UND.edu will have a pre-footer for prospective students that highlights the three main calls to action we want them to take:
- Request Information
- Schedule a Visit
- Apply Now
The pre-footer is exclusive to UND.edu and not available on other sites.
Section 2: All sites will continue to have a configurable region for links and contact information, but with an improved and streamlined design. We will contact site owners in February to discuss the next steps to transition to this footer.
Section 3: The semi-global footer can be turned on or off per site, depending on if the legal requirement applies. It includes links that are legally required to be “prominently displayed”. We aim to meet the intention of the term “prominently displayed” knowing it leaves room for interpretation (see below definition.) Links meeting this requirement include:
- Notice of Non-Discrimination
- Student Disclosure Information
- Title IX
Section 4: A global footer links section includes only legally required links on all UND web properties which includes:
- Copyright notice
- Accessibility link (UND policy in compliance with the NDUS Policy 1203.1 Digital Accessibility)
Definition of Prominently Displayed
The Department of Education provided a final rule on the Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance on May 19, 2020.
“One commenter stated that the Department did not provide an adequate definition of the characteristics of display that would qualify as “prominent” and recommended that the Department clarify the definition of “prominent display” as that phrase is used in § 106.8(b)(2)(i).”
“…the Department believes that § 106.8 sets forth reasonable, enforceable requirements that achieve the purpose of ensuring that relevant persons and organizations know the recipient’s non-discrimination policy, without prescribing how the recipient must organize its website.”