Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science recently launched a redesigned website for prospective students and trainees. This was the most significant work ever completed for the college's public presence.
"Our goal is to attract the most talented and diverse learners, both regionally and nationally. Our website is our first chance — and sometimes our only chance — to make a strong impression as they explore and compare programs," says Fredric Meyer, M.D., Waugh Executive Dean for Education.
The project team built the site from the ground up based on extensive user research about what prospective students expect when visiting a college or university website.
By putting themselves in the shoes of program applicants, the project team designed the new website to focus on key tasks and to answer common questions:
“The user experience and overall simplicity were big points of emphasis for us,” says Matthew Sluzinski, director of the Education Web Strategy and Services team and project sponsor. Even though Mayo’s college is complex—with five schools, 400 programs and three unique campuses—the website doesn’t have to be.
Telling the college’s story through content and design
The project team also focused on creating a welcoming and engaging experience for prospective students. The new site is “visual first,” featuring hundreds of images and videos that highlight the role students can play in patient care and research. In addition, the website highlights the learner experience by incorporating program outcomes and testimonials, including a warm and welcoming message from the college dean, Dr. Meyer.
“Our goal was to tell a compelling story,” says Amy White, a digital content specialist on the project team. “To allow users to better identify with the program. To help them imagine themselves on campus, in our community, as part of a future story.”
“We also wanted to promote health care career exploration and discovery," says Matthew. "Prospective students are often familiar with doctors and nurses, but may not be aware of the vast array of other rewarding roles in patient care and research." The new website includes a career library where students can browse options for applying their passion for healing or research, and can find out how to apply to Mayo Clinic programs in those fields.
"With this new website,” says Dr. Meyer, “we really capture the energy and uniqueness of the Mayo educational experience and our campuses, while making it easier to discover everything we have to offer."