Slideshows are a visual aspect that can add to the user experience. Information items are cycled in sequential order, often slideshows are used in conjunction with a hero banner to highlight a variety of key topics. Slideshows are an opportunity to add a storytelling element for branded narratives and tailored calls to action.
Hero Banners and slideshows are both great tools to use that will encourage visitors to explore your site. That, combined with a simple, easy to use navigation menu creates a functional and intuitive website design. Higher education websites often have multiple sites attributed to their main homepage as well as several portals that need to be accessed by students and faculty. With comprehensible categories, your website can be organized in a way that makes it effortless for information to be accessed.
Here are a few examples of universities and colleges that have designed their headers using slideshows and navigation menus that stand out and snag the attention of users from the very beginning and guide them through their entire visit.
Use slideshows to Showcase Your School
1. THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN BRITISH COLUMBIA
The University of Northern British Columbia website is a great example of using a slideshow to tell their institution’s story. Their homepage features a hero banner with a slideshow, presenting a variety of key information. The content is meant to connect with different audiences so that each visitor will find information that is valuable to them.
2. THE UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO
The University of Waterloo has included a slideshow on their website. Here, high-quality images have been used along with color contrast and different variations of their school’s branded colors to grab the attention and engage with potential students and different audiences.
3. THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
The University of Chicago uses its slideshow as a highlight reel. Their header keeps visitors up-to-date on current university events, and spotlights distinguishing student and faculty accomplishments.
4. OXFORD UNIVERSITY
Oxford University uses its slideshow to keep students, future students and alumni alike engaged throughout their entire visit. With virtual open house events and weekly, live, at-home tutorials with an array of subjects offered to visitors as soon as they click on to the page.
Improve Higher Ed Site Navigation
5. THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
The University of Virginia uses Drupal to power their website. Their site navigation is a great example of how straight forward the menu can be. This enables users to have a productive visit on your site while keeping the institution’s branding consistent throughout.
6. DAVIDSON COLLEGE
Davidson College has a comprehensive navigation menu that visitors can click on to expand over a video featured in their header. An expanding navigation is a unique way to organize website content. A design like this gives you the chance to play up the visuals and storytelling components on your school’s website.
7. QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY
Queen’s University has designed its navigation so that content is divided into broad categories which users can hover over to view drop-down menus with even more specific information. This keeps the homepage tidy and makes the visit intuitive for prospective students and other audiences .
Recently, there has been a need for institutions of higher education to acclimate to changes in technology and cultural shifts, on top of the pressure that already exists to generate revenues and live up to student demands for engagement. Headers play a big role in leading demographics through their journey and guiding users through the decision-making process.
OPIN partners with the leading higher education institutions, helping them create industry-leading designs. OPIN’s data-driven and user experience approach to design has played a key role in all of our work.
Find out how your institution can tie these design concepts together by reading our blog Designing Footers for Higher Education Institutions.
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