Undergrad Admissions Website

An updated look and refined experience for our potential students.

Web team
Undergraduate Admissions
Silver: Educational Advertising Awards 2020

Undergraduate Admissions is one of the highest-trafficked websites on campus. For many high school students, it’s their first touch point with the Notre Dame brand. 

We started the website update with some clear priorities in mind. Communicating Notre Dame’s ethos was high on the list; helping applicants understand why a Notre Dame education is unique was a must. In addition, the cost of higher education had to be directly addressed, as growing media attention made the topic unavoidable.

While the information architecture from the previous website was functional, it needed some significant adjustments. We needed to improve the labeling, eliminate navigational dropdown menus, and determine how to organize audience-specific content. 

Our designers were tasked with creating a website with an obvious visual association with ND.edu, while incorporating design flourishes with the teenager in mind. Designers prioritized highlighting images that captured the joy of the Notre Dame experience. 

Before we started, we benchmarked the admissions website of 35 peer institutions, charting patterns and trends in messaging, navigation, labeling, and other communications priorities. We reviewed analytics and frequent search terms to understand user priorities.

The information architecture was adjusted to account for “Aid & Affordability,” and landing pages were re-labeled for clarity. Audience-specific content was reorganized and nested elsewhere. Admissions staff streamlined and simplified content, especially related to the application process, and reduced the overall page count by more than 150 pages.

The homepage was re-imagined to include flexible blocks of seasonally prioritized content, along with task-oriented blocks for frequent tasks and upcoming deadlines. The student blogging content was elevated to the homepage, giving users an understanding of the Notre Dame experience from an authentic voice. A hero-space video was retired after analytics indicated less-than-impressive engagement rates.