"Large amounts of useless information", "Not enough important images", "All look the same", "Not entirely honest". These are all quotes from a group of students when asked what university websites are currently like. Students know what they want to see on websites, and what is currently being shown, is not it.
University websites are primarily used to recruit and engage with students, but realistically they have multiple audiences to appease. It’s common for universities to forget about some of the other audiences such as parents, staff, academics.
News has changed a lot over the years, from being printed in newspapers and magazines, through video on the television and now people look online first. All of these mediums are very different but all have something in common. News has three states: Something that is happening, has happened and will happen. But the problem with most news sites is that they only ever consider the state of when it is happening. Weeks after, the story is lost — even if it is still important.
University web properties have multiple audiences. In most cases, the primary purpose is to engage with students and therefore recruit them. However, let’s take a moment to make sure we don’t forget about all of the other users — parents, stakeholders, staff,…