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Foster Website

 

Foster website

In conjunction with the launch of the new brand guidelines, we have redesigned the website to modernize the look, improve the user experience, and better showcase our programs.

Primary audience(s)

  1. Prospective students
  2. Donors and corporate partners
  3. Alumni and mentors

Website Guidelines

Content and visual design of the UI (user interface) is focused on the top-level, key information, and is optimized so that users can find what they’re looking for as seamlessly as possible.

Navigation naming conventions use clear and/or familiar terminology. Users rely on both content and context to determine how to navigate through a website – the link label, the content surrounding the link, the context in which the link appears, and any other background information the user already has – all help them determine where to go next.

Clear wayfinding (the cues users use to orient themselves within the navigation of a website), consisting of breadcrumbs
and on-page subnavigation, help show users where they are in our information architecture (the structure and presentation of
a website’s content).

Web content should be structured with descriptive headings and subheadings and scannable lists so users can easily find
the key information at a glance. Long-form content should be broken into digestible sections to support scanning. Techniques like summaries, bullet points, callouts, bolding, and helpful visuals improve comprehension and engagement with content exceeding 1,000 words.

Example Page Title

example heading

example subheading

Example copy with a scannable list of key points:

  • First key point
  • Second key point
  • Third key point

Content should be layered and information disclosed progressively, allowing users to access the top level content first
with opportunities to dig deeper (ex. summary provided with highly detailed information nested in accordions).

CTA’s (Calls to action) use consistent language across the site to ensure logical and expected outcomes as users move through
the content.

Web copy should use plain language and concepts familiar to the user, and should follow consistent naming conventions so that a user can expect to easily find the same pertinent information in the same place in different areas of the site.

For web content writing and editing, here are some questions to consider:

  • Is this content essential for prospective students? Or any of our secondary audiences?
  • If not, can this be a PDF resource housed in Sharepoint, Canvas, or other? Is this a blog or article? Is this a social post?
  • What level of detail is appropriate for the target audience?
  • How can we create a “curiosity gap” to capture leads into our funnel?
  • Can this content be consolidated? Can it be made simpler or more clear?
Wherever possible, page content presented as “real” text (as opposed to images of text) to ensure accessibility for users who
utilize screen readers.

Where images of text are unavoidable (e.g. logos):

  • Alternative text provided for all words in the image that are meant to be read.
  • Images must be vector images (svg) or high resolution enough to be legible when enlarged (ex. 1000px wide for
    500px wide placement).
  • If text in image is longer than a sentence, the contents will also be reproduced as regular text on the page (ex. key points from a chart described in caption).

Posters, flyers, or other promotional materials designed for print will be reproduced as real text.

PDF documents used only as optional downloads.

Numbers displayed as numerals (2 vs. “two”).

Links within content should be understandable out of context.
Captions or transcripts provided for video and audio content.


FAQ

Why can’t I change the structure and/or design of my page?

We maintain a consistent website structure to enhance user experience and present a professional image. Consistency helps reduce cognitive load for users, making navigation easier and more intuitive. It also aligns with our “One Foster” branding initiative and sets a baseline for strategic enhancements based on empirical testing and user feedback. This approach allows us to continually refine and improve our site effectively.

Where do your recommendations come from? What if I have specific ideas for what the page should feature and where?

Our recommendations are based on best practices from leading business schools and data analysis from Google Analytics. We aim to balance expert insights with your unique content ideas. While we encourage your input, aligning content within our established site structure ensures a cohesive user experience and maintains our website’s effectiveness. We are always open to collaboration to fine-tune content within these guidelines.

What’s optional on the page and what can I add if I want to?

Core components such as admissions, curriculum, student experience, career outcomes, tuition, and contact info are standard for all programs to ensure consistency. If you wish to include program-specific content, we’re happy to collaborate on determining the most effective placement and presentation within the existing structure.

How are the DNA research findings impacting the messaging on our page?

The DNA research emphasized the importance of ROI and career advancement for prospective students. This insight is reflected in the messaging on your page, especially in the “By the Numbers” section and the panel that highlights the value of your program.

Why don’t we have more lead capture on the page, how can we capture leads ASAP?

The lead generation form is easily accessible from every program homepage, ensuring immediate opportunity for visitor engagement. We are also developing a “short form” that can be included in additional locations to capture leads more effectively. This enhancement is currently in progress and will be rolled out soon.

What’s the landing page experience on mobile?

Our landing page is optimized for mobile users, focusing on improving accessibility and navigation. We’ve removed the left navigation to make content more accessible on devices of all sizes and incorporated anchor links to allow users to quickly jump to relevant sections. We continuously monitor on-page behavior to enhance the mobile experience further when opportunities for improvement arise.

What if I change my mind on what I want on my page?

No problem! Websites are dynamic and designed to evolve. For minor copy edits, updated application deadlines, etc. – simply submit a web request. If you’re considering more significant changes or strategic content revisions, please fill out this form to start the discussion. We are always ready to collaborate and adapt to your needs.

Where did the left navigation menu go?

The left nav was removed to enhance usability across devices, especially on mobile. This change aligns us with competitor standards and allows for a more streamlined design, making key information more accessible. By clearly articulating the value of our programs, we aim to improve the user experience and increase application rates.

Why do we have fewer subpages? How do I send links to key information to prospective students or other key partners?

We’ve consolidated pages to streamline the user experience, ensuring that prospective students and partners can access key information quickly and are guided towards conversion actions. Each section on a consolidated, continuous scroll page has a unique URL. This means you can directly link to specific sections, allowing recipients to land exactly where needed. This strategic organization is optimized for conversion and maintains clarity by addressing all essential details effectively.

Why are there limits on how much content we have on the pages now?

Research shows that website visitors typically read only about 20% of the content on any given page. Limiting the amount of content helps focus on what’s most essential, enhancing user engagement and efficiency. Studies indicate that single-page websites often perform better in terms of conversions, with a 37% higher conversion rate compared to multi-page sites. By streamlining content, we aim to improve the overall user experience and conversion rates.

Wait, some content on my subpages has changed!

Your subpage content may have undergone very minor adjustments during the first phase of the website refresh. This might have highlighted some content that you are noticing in a different way. Since your page will stay in this format until the phase 2 content audit, we encourage your submission of copy edits to the web request form below.

Submit a web update