case study

Roosevelt University

A focus on vibrant imagery and student testimonials established a clear sense of place for the university.
  • a person icon with three stars underneath
  • an award ribbon
  • a pencil and ruler drawn on a web browser window
  • Icon: Content Strategy Agency & Consultants


Roosevelt University, Before

Roosevelt University is an Illinois-based institution with a legacy to social justice that boasts around 7,000 graduate and undergraduate students across two campuses. Roosevelt hired us to differentiate itself from other universities, solidify their brand identity, and launch a responsive experience that was optimized across devices.

  • Create a design and content hierarchy that seamlessly adapts to different devices.
  • Simplify the navigation and content structure were both critical goals to reduce complexity and frustration
  • The University has a unique focus on social justice and its main campus is located in bustling downtown Chicago, however neither of these compelling selling points were adequately presented in their existing website. 


  • Roosevelt University Website – Homepage
  • Roosevelt University Website – laptop
  • Roosevelt University Website – Programs
  • Roosevelt University Website – Tablets
  • Roosevelt University Website – Mobile

Designing from the Inside Out

To fully understand the needs and goals of the Roosevelt team, OHO conducted on-site interviews with more than 20 members of the Roosevelt staff across multiple departments and surveyed the entire Web Team to understand their existing governance strategy and what changes needed to be made to ensure a sustainable process going forward.

  • The new site emphasizes immersive photography that highlights the experience of attending Roosevelt.
  • Student testimonials now feature prominently throughout the site, providing insight into campus life and solidifying the unique offer of Roosevelt University.
  • The new design identifies four distinct admission paths for undergraduates, graduates, pharmacy, and performing arts students and directs them through a process that’s both informative and unique to each segment.
  • As part of the content audit, OHO identified redundancies in both navigation and content throughout the site and worked with Roosevelt’s Web Team to implement a content governance strategy that emphasized strong concise language, experiential storytelling, and a departure from stock photography.
  • The new design with its emphasis on professional photography showcases the city of Chicago throughout the site. The autoplay video of the “L” elevated rail system featured in the footer further drives home the feeling of place.
  • ​As part of the redesign, OHO implemented a new and innovative program selection tool that allows prospective students to quickly find the program and location that fits their specific needs and criteria.

The campus visit is the number one conversion goal for a university. We updated the visitation inquiry section to highlight all the options available and hit as many unique audiences as possible. This continued the “sense of place” theme and transformed the page from a transactional experience to an immersive one.



increase in unique pageviews


increase in application page visits

We continue to receive compliments from the Roo community who are working on content entry. They're excited about the look and feel...I can't remember a project that has gone so smoothly and stayed on scheduled.

Aaron Rester
Assistant Vice President, Web Development
Roosevelt University

The new site is fully responsive, creating a user experience that is optimized for all devices for the first time in the site’s history. The streamlined admission and visitor sections have made it easier for prospective students to find the information they need and ultimately apply for acceptance to Roosevelt. 
Since launching the new site, the year-over-year bounce rate dropped by 7% overall and by 10.3% for new mobile users. The site also saw a 13% increase in session duration for mobile users, indicating a deeper level of immersion for those accessing the site on mobile devices. 

Moving forward, the Roosevelt web team now has the governance tools and guidance they need to maintain the site and continue to provide users with content that highlight everything Roosevelt has to offer. 

Further Reading

  • Boston Conservatory

    A multimedia-focused approach provides an immersive look into what it means to attend Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

  • College of the Holy Cross

    Comprehensive digital strategy carried out in three phases – homepage refresh, full college site relaunch, and capital campaign launch – supports and extends new institutional branding platform.

  • Cambridge College

    User research and testing drives website redesign resulting in digital unification of multiple campuses and an increase in online applications.