Introduction

I have explored many websites of Nigerian tertiary institutions, and I’ve noticed several outdated practices. The layout, menu links, and interior page designs are often behind modern standards. Additionally, many images are not in the correct aspect ratio, which negatively impacts the overall user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). Interestingly, Nigerian secondary school websites tend to be better designed and more up-to-date compared to those of tertiary institutions.

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This is an example. Note: Any images of a school we use in our posts are intended solely to assist in building a modern, world-class school website, not to criticize or disparage the institution.

 

Creating an effective and engaging website for Nigerian universities involves several key elements to ensure it serves the needs of students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you transform Nigerian Tertiary Institution Websites using Modern Approach.

 

1. Understand Your Audience

  • Prospective Students: Information on admissions, courses, campus life.
  • Current Students: Access to academic resources, calendars, and announcements.
  • Faculty and Staff: Tools for teaching, research, and administrative tasks.
  • Alumni: News, events, and ways to stay connected and contribute.

2. Clear and Intuitive Navigation

  • Main Menu: Include primary sections like About, Admissions, Academics, Research, Campus Life, and Contact.
  • Breadcrumbs: Help users understand their location within the website.
  • Search Function: Implement a powerful search tool to help users find information quickly.

3. Responsive Design

  • Ensure the website is mobile-friendly, as many users will access it via smartphones and tablets.
  • Use a responsive design framework to adapt to different screen sizes.

4. Content Management System (CMS)

  • Use a reliable CMS like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal to manage content efficiently.
  • Ensure the CMS supports multiple users with different levels of access and permissions.

5. Visual Design and Branding

  • Consistent Branding: Use the university’s colors, logos, and fonts consistently.
  • Professional Layout: Clean, modern design with high-quality images and graphics.
  • Multimedia Integration: Incorporate videos, photo galleries, and virtual tours.

6. Essential Pages and Sections

  • Home Page: A welcoming and informative homepage that highlights key information and news.
  • About: History, mission, vision, leadership, and strategic plans.
  • Admissions: Application process, requirements, deadlines, and financial aid information.
  • Academics: Detailed information on programs, faculties, departments, and courses.
  • Research: Research initiatives, publications, centers, and opportunities.
  • Campus Life: Information on housing, dining, clubs, sports, and events.
  • News and Events: Latest news, announcements, and upcoming events.
  • Contact: Contact information, maps, and a directory of departments and staff.
  • Alumni: Resources for alumni, including events, news, and donation opportunities. In a modern iteration, this part can be included in the school’s digital workplace hence, no need to create a separate website for them.
  • Student/Faculty Portal: Secure access for faculty to upload results and for the students to view grades, schedules, and resources.
  • School Digital Workplace: Creating a custom collaborative digital workplace instantly transforms the school into a modern, inclusive online institution, fostering a thriving online community.

7. Accessibility and Usability

  • Ensure the website meets accessibility standards (e.g., WCAG 2.1) to accommodate users with disabilities.
  • Conduct usability testing to ensure ease of navigation and user-friendliness.

8. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Use SEO best practices to improve the website’s visibility on search engines.
  • Optimize page titles, meta descriptions, headers, and content for relevant keywords.

9. Security

  • Implement strong security measures to protect user data and prevent cyber-attacks.
  • Use SSL certificates to encrypt data and provide secure connections.

10. Integration with Digital Tools

  • Learning Management Systems (LMS): Integrate platforms like Moodle or Blackboard for online learning.
  • Social Media: Connect with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for broader engagement.
  • Digital Workplace: Incorporating tools like Microsoft Teams,  Slack, or BuddyBoss for seamless communication within the university community would be a game changer.

 

11. Incorporate AI Tool:

Incorporate AI tools to automate repetitive tasks for school administrators and staff. This will increase productivity and enable efficient data curation and analysis.

12. Regular Updates and Maintenance

  • Keep the content fresh and up-to-date with regular updates and new information.
  • Perform regular maintenance checks to ensure the website runs smoothly and efficiently.

 

By focusing on these key elements, you can build a robust, user-friendly, and engaging website for Nigerian universities that effectively serves all stakeholders and enhances the institution’s online presence.

As we continue with this blog, I will be reviewing and sharing more tips on building a modern, world-class web platform for Nigerian tertiary institutions, aiming to rival top schools around the globe.

Note: Any images of the school we use in our posts are intended solely to assist in building a modern, world-class school website, not to criticize or disparage the institution.