Campus web pages refresh

I recently wrapped up a great project rebuilding our web pages about campus. This job was a joy to do because it allowed me to focus on many different forms of content – video and imagery proved just as important as copy to show (rather than tell) what our campus has to offer.

Why a refresh?

The campus section is a high-traffic section, with the campus landing page racking up over 11,000 annual page views. However, most pages were using our older Classic templates and the content and imagery was out of date. Some content was also duplicated elsewhere on the website and many of the pages hadn’t been updated in recent years.

A much needed refresh was in order to better ‘sell’ York’s beautiful green campus.

Purpose, audience and streamlining

Mixed audience groups for these pages proved an exciting challenge. The users for these pages included prospective students, members of the public, and our community of current staff and students.

The purpose of the pages is to provide a high-level overview of what campus has to offer, covering amenities through to wildlife and art. We reviewed the pages and usage data and decided we could streamline the section from 30 pages to 24.

Celebrating our campus with visual content

We’ve got a treasure trove of beautiful visual content of our green, open campus. The use of video and imagery was key to creating engaging pages that worked hard to show what campus has to offer.

I created a hero video for the landing page using both drone footage and close-up video clips to highlight different aspects of campus – lakes, wildlife, greenery and our iconic brutalist buildings.

The landing page hero video

A ‘campus photo highlights’ section on the landing page shows off a number of key landmarks and places to see on campus, such as Isaac Newton’s apple tree, growing in a courtyard garden within the School of Physics, Engineering and Technology, and the Quiet Place, an area of stillness and quiet in the grounds of Heslington Hall.

Working with stakeholders

As with any content project, I didn’t do it alone. I worked with stakeholders in the Directorate of Technology, Estates and Facilities (DTEF) and Marketing, Recruitment, Admissions and Outreach (MRAO) to make sure the content was accurate and on message.

Tidying up

To help keep our campus pages fresh and up to date, I’ve created a quality assurance and content governance model – on the University wiki (staff only) outlining how the pages would be kept up-to-date and by whom.

Check out the refreshed campus section!

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