For our website redesign for Gettysburg College, we thought about how the intersectionality, ambiguity, and possibility of the liberal arts translates to an interface. Our thinking and design system factored in a people-first approach to search functionality with the goal of making current and prospective Gettysburg students feel confident on their path toward choosing an area of study. While collaborating with our client, we thought about how students search for a major when looking for schools. Our approach uses more natural language than the majority of competitors in the higher education landscape. The search field was pre-populated with terms that mapped both directly and indirectly to major programs. Broad, abstract keywords yielded some of the more interesting branching paths. Our concept adopted the design of their mid-century printed materials and transformed it into a modern iteration and extension of their brand. Content strategy and taxonomy were robust parts of the project. We proposed that the site?much like the students, academics, and priorities of the campus, change throughout the year. For instance, content for the enrollment season (even down to the photography) is much different than the tone for the graduation time period. What makes this project innovative is the student-centric approach to messaging and search. What also makes this project unique is the dynamic change in content and imagery based on search query. The vast library of photography assets to pull from also keeps the site feeling fresh and seasonal. Higher education websites must typically meet a wide range of audiences? needs. We put the focus on prospective students while still giving other audiences the information they need with a much-easier-to-navigate system and site structure than what was previously in place.
Leroy & Rose