Northern Virginia Community College: Case Study

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After a thorough CMS evaluation process, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) decided on Cascade Server back in the spring of 2007. The College engaged BarkleyREI to design their site, which was launched in 2008. As a natural extension of the successful partnership between the College and the vendor, NOVA collaborated with Barkley in 2014 when it was time for a new website design. The first step in the discovery process was to identify the main goals of the project:
Increase the recruitment of new students
Drive student success and retention
Enhance the College’s brand perception.

Once those goals had been established, the key strategies to achieving them were identified as follows:
1. Focus the user experience on the needs of current and prospective students
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Leverage the website’s content to spotlight the College’s vision as the “Gateway to the American Dream
3. Authentically represent the complete NOVA experience throughout the site
4. Provide a new responsive website in order to provide an optimal mobile experience Since NOVA offers over 170 majors, programs, and certificates, in addition to a significant number of non-credit courses, it was of utmost importance to ensure that students were able to find the programs and campuses they were looking for. The sheer amount of content available presented somewhat of a challenge and required a content audit. Solutions
In order to keep the focus of the site on future students, the primary navigation bar was geared towards prospective students, while supplemental audience navigation was included for other segments of the College’s target audience, such as current students, faculty and staff, alumni, and parents. The design also contained very simple and direct calls to action within the top navigation (“Apply Now”, “Register”, “Pay”, and “Donate”).

Video and images with timely content were incorporated into the home page to deliver an engaging and contemporary

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