Our external home page is the single most important page on our website. It is usually the first page people see on the University of Bath site and it is the page people use to form initial perceptions about us.
In the last year alone we had 4,306,827 external views on the page (roughly 360,000) per month.
Some key facts
- From our homepage at least 28% of our visitors go to Undergraduate and 9% to Postgraduate (NB. This does not take into account people using the search directly which accounts for a high proportion of our traffic).
- The 6th most popular keyword used to find us is in Chinese.
Developing the new homepage
We began the homepage re-design project in the latter part of 2010. Given its importance we consciously didn't just dive into design work but focused on researching what we wanted the page to achieve. The stages of development are outlined below:
Stages of development
Stage 1: Analysis and research
- Where are we now? – Analysis of the current homepage links.
- Competitor Research - review of 20 competitor sites (looked at types of information, number of links etc.)
- Google Analytics (how people used the homepage, popular links)
- Crazy Egg (reviewed heat maps to see where people clicked on the current page)
- General research - other information from various sources (articles about university websites published in journals and newspapers)
- Goal Setting for the Home Page
- Suggestions from Research
- Home Page link options
- Developed a list of New External Home Page Links - with explanations
- Developed a guide; How to measure home page success
Stage 2: Design iterations and feedback
- Developed a number of designs for discussion with Web Services and Faculty/School Web Editors
- Gained feedback from several Senior Stakeholders
- Gained feedback from focus groups within local schools
Stage 3: Build, (user) test and seek additional feedback
- Developed a working page
- Test the page with a variety of users (including our PG students)
- Made modifications based on user testing and feedback
- Presented page to our Vice-Chancellors-Group (VCG)
- (Soft) launched page
The homepage has now been soft launched and will replace our existing page later this week.