Olivet College Before & After

Nov 1, 2018

Introducing the Olivet College website redesign. A bold plan to reinvigorate the image of a small liberal arts college in the heart of Michigan.

Even the strictest college settings, with uniforms, stern instructors, and colonial architecture have a knack for bringing out the best lives in their students. Classes, athletic practices, study halls and dorm room living are opportunities to connects thousands of future leaders together.

Along I-69, between Battle Creek and Lansing, is the city of Olivet, it’s population buoyed by the College established in 1844. A leadership goal wanted the college to increase its enrollment by 500 and refurbish several buildings by 2020. There was one glaring problem, however. Olivet’s website was in no shape to inspire 50 new students, let alone 500.

A college website redesign is a massive undertaking, and one Olivet was familiar with. Years before leaders contacted Valorous Circle, Olivet’s site was square, boxy, and all too reliant on HTML. Prospective students in 2013 found no indication that kids were doing anything other than posing for photos around signs and patio furniture.

Drastic changes came a year later when the website went in a noticeably different direction. Enter a backdrop of one of the campus towers, followed by slider images, school-color buttons, and students in a classroom or athletic setting. The site, however, was still missing its edge.

School colors can do wonders for a university’s image. We see them at football games, chant them in the street and style weddings around them. And while its true that these color schemes work on promotional materials, a two-tone website will become stale to both passive and active viewers.

Valorous Circle knew Olivet needed a splash of diversity to make the college stand out. And that’s just what we did.

The new Olivet layout is vibrant, eye-catching and full of options for prospective and current students, faculty, and parents. A dynamic slider highlights degree programs, current events and new in one place. Below, you’ll see an easily identifiable call-to-action form and an athletics feature, something the older site relegated to a menu link in the upper right corner.

Viewing the Undergraduate page is now active, with a video autoplaying in the background showing move-in day festivities. Five years ago, new students were given an uninspiring list of major areas of study. The new site encourages people to start living a more worthwhile life, one they can only do as a student at Olivet.

Bold messages are made possible by empowering web design teams to reach for something different.