How to build a website truly targeted for prospective students

When designing higher education websites, prospective students are often a key audience, but we’re also balancing the needs of many other audiences. Creating a dedicated admissions website means we can truly focus on the user journey of future students as they research and apply. Over the past three years, OCAD University, Canada’s largest art and design university, has created separate websites to help prospective undergraduate and graduate students through the admissions process. In this joint presentation with Evolving Web, we’ll talk through our user experience decisions, specific challenges of an art and design university, and what has made this project a success.

We’ll cover:

  • Guiding students through the steps that come before they apply.
  • Streamlining calls to action to increase engagement.
  • Inviting students to explore programs and the importance of program page design.
  • Using student voices to bring the website to life.
  • Building on the OCAD U brand in the visual design.
  • Building on our success: creating a second graduate admissions website.


  • Suzanne Dergacheva — Evolving Web
  • Vibeke Silverthorne — OCAD University
  • Winna Tse — OCAD University

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