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Missouri Valley College

How did Missouri Valley College (MVC) transform their website into the dynamic, refined, modern site that we see today? They brought in SAI Digital. Our task was straightforward: work with the MVC team to create an engaging website with style and function that connected with prospective students. The result? Following the redesign, the College saw the largest enrollment in its history.
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Helping Prospective Students Find a "Hidden Gem"

Missouri Valley College (or simply "Valley" to students) is located over two hours from an airport, but it attracts students from across the world. As one of the most diverse colleges in the country, MVC draws a large international student body as well as students from almost all 50 states. Described by students and faculty as a "hidden gem", Valley offers high-quality academics, experienced and engaged faculty, proximity to nearby cities and universities, and even a rodeo program. When you looked at the website prior to the redesign, these highlights did not shine through. Instead, users fumbled with overwhelming navigation, a lack of clear pathways to action, and a dated visual design.

Shifting the Focus to Prospective Students

Our vision for the new website was to convey a consistent message that highlighted the school's benefits, with a focus on academics. The old site heavily focused on the school's athletics programs, which potentially deterred prospective academically minded students. Through impactful messaging and stunning photography that highlights the schools diverse, spirited, academically and athletically focused students, we allowed visitors to quickly see the real MVC student experience and appeal to a wider range of prospective students.

  • Programs of study screenshot
  • Agribusiness program page
  • Life in Marshall screenshot
  • Nearby cities screenshot

Telling the Valley Story

We expanded the limited visual design and photography available on the former site. We reduced the content-heavy pages to better showcase MVC's academics, diversity and close-knit feel. Lengthy text passages were rewritten with SEO and prospective students in mind, paying attention to messages for international students and families of students, too. We updated the inconsistent branding throughout the website with an enhanced color palette, stronger typography, and an authentic photography style.

It’s All About the User Experience

Through our research and analysis, we discovered many challenges with the site's structure. Major issues included broken or inconsistent navigational pathways, issues with search functionality, and server error pages that do not support users and redirect them to other areas of the site. Using survey feedback and web best practices, we re-architected the navigation to focus on prospective students and their families. The new information architecture simplifies access to the most in-demand content: admissions & financial aid, academics, student life, alumni, and athletics. The revised taxonomic structure is more intuitive and helps present content to users wherever they are on the site. Lastly, implementing more prominent calls-to-action such as apply, visit, and request information help drive results.

The Results

MVC’s redesigned website launched in March 2018. We’re happy to report that in August, MVC announced fall 2018 enrollment of 1,506 students, which is the largest enrollment in the College’s history!

"We had a great experience working with SAI. The staff was knowledgeable and always willing to help us with our project every step of the way."
Danielle Durham, Director of Marketing & Public Relations Missouri Valley College