Helping Users Find Specific Details

Users come to the web to find specific facts. Maybe it’s a prospective student who already knows what they want to study and is looking for information about that major at Bethel. Maybe it's an alum who wants to know what time Festival of Christmas starts. Maybe it's a current student who is wondering how much different meal plans cost.

Our tone should adapt to the mindset and feelings of users searching for specific information.

I'm looking for info about an academic program...

There are a few possible audiences for academic department sites, including prospective students, parents, and current students. But all of these audiences are visiting academic department sites for the same reason: to learn more about that department. They want to know what that department teaches, what it values, and what it’s up to.

User:

"I wonder what the Department of Business and Economics at Bethel is all about."

What I'm feeling:

  • Curiosity
  • Interest
  • Anticipation
  • Expectation

Bethel:

"In the Department of Business and Economics at Bethel, we prepare students that are grounded in ethics and Christian values for service in the marketplace. Whether students go on to work for a corporation, a non-profit charity, or a government agency, they learn to serve others and promote justice in a complex world."

Tips:

  • The people in our academic departments (professors, students and administrators) are knowledgeable and professional. They’re highly specialized and are experts in their fields. You can use  academic language to convey that credibility. Just don’t forget that...
  • The people in our academic departments are also warm, approachable, and passionate about teaching. Make sure these pages convey the tone of real people that love to teach and are committed to helping students succeed.
  • We have great programs. You don’t need to try to oversell them. If we have data that supports a claim like "this program is consistently ranked in the top three in the nation”, then certainly say that. But if we don’t have the data, don’t make a vague claim like “This top-ranked program..."