Designing for Enrollment
At Blackboard, we serve a diverse client base and understand that each organization has unique needs regarding their web presence. With "school choice" becoming increasingly popular, many districts find themselves competing for student enrollment, making their web presence more important than ever. An enrollment focused website should tell the story of your brand. It should engage, captivate, encourage and inspire. It should leave users wanting more.
Our team of award winning UI/UX designers has extensive experience helping districts achieve marketing and enrollment goals via their website. Whether you have a Design Ready or Made to Order template, implementing our content and design best practices will deliver results.
Calls to Action
One of the most important aspects of an enrollment focused website is having a prominent call to action. If enrolling new students is your number one priority, it should be immediately apparent to users where they need to go to enroll. This is not the time or place for subtlety!
- Make the most of prime screen real estate. While users are accustomed to scrolling on a website, a call to action should ideally be 'above the fold' and immediately visible upon page load.
- The call to action can take a variety of forms - a button, link, graphic, photo, icon, etc. What matters most is that the call to action is prominent, eye catching, easy to access and hard to miss.
- Utilize color, imagery, size, etc to make your call to action stand out on the page.
- Be specific. Your call to action should be intuitive and obvious. If your button, graphic, or link verbiage is vauge, users may hesitate or miss the message.
- Add a link directly on your navigation bar for Enrollment rather than burying it within a dropdown.
- Add a button or icon in the header of your site (or anywhere above the fold) that encourages users to "Enroll Now" or access enrollment information.
- Utilize the main photo rotator on your homepage to link to enrollment information.
- While we don't recommend a multitude of redundant links on a page, it doesn't hurt to link to enrollment information in more than one spot. For example, you can feature a prominent button at the top of the site, and also include a second link to the information lower on the page.
- A sticky/persistent button that follows the user as they scroll down the page is an ideal solution for keeping the call to action accessible at all times.
Tell a Story
Your website should inform parents and prospective students what you have to offer and why they should choose your district or school. What makes your organization unique and exceptional? How will you help students to be successful? Presenting this information in a way that is not only informative, but also engaging and attractive, is critical. Your website is essentially your online reputation, and is how users determine if you are trustworthy, reliable, and the right choice for them.
- Rather than focusing on standard content like news/announcements, highlight your district’s academic programs, athletics, fine arts, amazing faculty, facilities, commitment to success, etc.
- Bring your district’s personality to life and paint a picture for prospective students/families of what attending this school could do for their future.
- Utilize streaming video or attractive imagery in the rotator to showcase your brand and what makes your district unique. Make sure the photos and videos are professional and high quality.