Anyone with an internet connection (i.e. just about everyone) will tell you that a company’s website is where everything about its branding culminates. Because of that, creating or redesigning a website for an established company is an intense process. Are the identifiers and logos fresh, yet still familiar? Is the language relevant and relatable? Does the company understand its customer’s pain points? Does the design suit the function?
Most of all, is it easy to find what you’re looking for?
At Orbit, we’ve spent decades perfecting the branding process. We want it to be simple. Sleek. Yet without ever sacrificing the essential nature of the business. So when we had the chance to redesign the website for the prestigious Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, making it fresh and user-friendly, we couldn’t wait to get started.
Here’s what we did:
Who were the key players in this project?
For a project this size, everyone at Orbit played a part in one way or another. Alyssa, our Project Coordinator, Alan, our Web Developer, John, our Art Director, and Cody, Orbit’s President, headed it up. The Daniels College of Business Office of Communications and Marketing department helped edit content and worked directly with department heads to ensure the correct information was communicated. Finally, the staff and faculty at Daniels played a key role in the ultimate success of this project by voicing any opinions and edits throughout the process.
What is the purpose of the Daniels College of Business website?
At the simplest level, the website exists to give prospective students (especially graduate students) information about Daniels. On a practical level, the site should give students a feel for life at Daniels; make it easy for students to enroll in programs and register for campus events, and engage other key stakeholders such as alumni and corporate recruiters.
What were the goals of this website redesign?
The main goal was to limit the number of clicks it takes to find whatever you’re looking for on the site. The navigation on the old site was confusing and cumbersome, and we wanted to change that while bringing everything up-to-date with current website trends. In terms of the look, we knew it needed to be clean, with full-screen photos and videos of campus that will grab people’s attention right away. The new website provides large sized drone footage of the campus that allows visitors to experience the campus firsthand and immediately immerses you in the site. In addition, we had to update photos throughout the site to ensure that they correctly portrayed the Daniels brand and were up to date with campus changes. Optimizing the site for mobile and encouraging engagement were also top priorities.
How many pages did you redesign on the website?
We redesigned almost every single page on the site, including building a blog of around 400 pages.
What, specifically, did you redesign?
We were asked to reimagine every element of the website: the header, the footer, the blog, the photos. The Daniels team wanted the look and feel to mimic the design we’d been using in their print materials. We also condensed the copy so that now users can find the information they need without wading through pages of text.
Where did you draw inspiration for some of these website details?
The Daniels schools and departments went through intensive day-long branding sessions to establish core values, a brand promise and a target audience. These key findings were the guidepost for our work. Then we sifted through and borrowed elements from a lot of other websites — business schools and otherwise. And, of course, we brought our own creative input to the table.
Which part of the website design do you love the most?
We love the main video on the home page, as well as the full-width photos and layout. The imagery gives you a feel for the campus and the Daniels culture, and the layout draws you in.
How does the Orbit team feel about the final result?
We’re very proud of the outcome. The positive feedback we’ve gotten is very rewarding, especially after we worked so hard on something with so many moving parts. Most importantly, we believe the site succeeds at streamlining the user path to information. Goals, met!
Interested in seeing the finished product? Check it out: https://daniels.du.edu/