Community engagement happens all across the university. A large majority of students are engaged in the community and it’s a big selling point for prospective students. Our problem was it was hard to communicate everything the university was doing when the content was disbursed across multiple websites.
Bringing a site like this together isn’t easy. The prerequisite was to gather all the community engagement across campus, identify who maintains it, and get everyone talking. Without solving this information problem the website wouldn’t be successful. Luckily the Government & Community Affairs department did an amazing job gathering and working to promote all community engagement around campus.
Getting someone to a website is only half the battle, let’s imagine by some miracle a visitor lands on the homepage of this (or any) site. They basically have ten seconds, at the most, to determine (often subconsciously) if they are going to find the information they are looking for.
I use the term “find what they are looking for” because every visitor has a motivation for their actions. The notion of someone just “surfing the Web” I’ve never actually heard a user say as a motivation to visit a website.
Too much content can turn a user away (information paralysis), too little information can leave visitors wondering if the site can actually fulfill their needs.
The balance happens when distinct information paths are separated by visual consistency and actions for the user to dive deeper. On the Community Engagement website we did just that.
Building visual and interaction cues and keeping them consistent is essential to building confidence in visitors. We accomplished this on the Community Engagement website with three main elements:
The website encompasses so much more than just the visual cues and user motivations I’ve highlighted above. I just wanted to give some insight into some of our decisions and the motivations behind them.
Explore the new Community Engagement website at: http://wayne.edu/communityengagement/