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Duquesne University Captures Attention of Prospective Students with New Website by BarkleyREI

Release Date: Oct 01, 2012


As colleges and universities compete to attract the best and the brightest students—many of whom begin their education research online—many higher education institutions are recognizing the critical importance of offering a compelling and innovative website.To make the most of its one chance to make an unforgettable first impression, Duquesne University worked with interactive marketing agency BarkleyREI to make strategic improvements to www.duq.edu to showcase its academic programs, campus activities, and unique points of differentiation.  

Duquesne, the largest Catholic university in Pennsylvania, engaged fellow Pittsburgh organization BarkleyREI in a 12-month website redesign effort intended to showcase the campus experience and make an impact on prospective students. The most prominent new feature is a multi-panel vertical homepage design that delivers an emotionally impactful experience through high-resolution photography shot specifically for the site.

“The vertical design represents a fresh approach from both creative and user experience perspectives. It is a breakthrough concept in higher education websites that is on the brink of becoming more widely adopted,” said Rachel May, account director, BarkleyREI. “People are used to scrolling and swiping when they visit a website, and the vertical design with its multiple panels responds naturally to those habits, giving the visitor an engaging and friendly experience. And as a prospective or current student, that is just the kind of positive feeling you want from a university, whether in person or online.”

While the vertical design helps to create an immediate emotional connection, Duquesne and BarkleyREI also collaborated to incorporate technical improvements. The new www.duq.edu was designed to accommodate larger screen sizes, deliver cross-device accessibility, incorporate the latest HTML5 technology in multimedia galleries, and use microformats to power search results and improve search engine optimization.  

The Duquesne website delivers content that is both broad and deep but is packaged in consumable chunks, and audience-based navigation gives visitors a secondary option to quickly and easily find relevant information.

“BarkleyREI’s research and strategic recommendations enable Duquesne to create a  significant connection with its most important audiences and effectively showcase its strongest offerings, including the 10 schools of study, legacy of service, Spiritan identity and ideal geographic location,” commented Bridget Fare, assistant vice president for public affairs, Duquesne University.

About Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in 10 schools of study for 10,000-plus graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.

About BarkleyREI

Founded in 1998, BarkleyREI is a nationally recognized digital marketing agency. Based in Pittsburgh, BarkleyREI offers a full range of interactive design and development and digital marketing services, including strategic communications planning, website design and development, medial planning and buying, search marketing, social media marketing, email marketing for a prestigious client roster in tourism and travel, higher education, cultural and non-profit and consumer and lifestyle industries. For more information, or to view a client list and portfolio of work, please visit www.barkleyrei.com.