The UK Higher Education Homepage Collection

image of small screenshots of UK university homepages

Portrait or Landscape?

As our software scans individual websites and entire web estates, it can capture web pages in desktop, tablet and mobile image formats. And, whether you are a web developer, designer, content strategist or UX specialist, the resulting galleries speed up design, layout and user experience checking.

View from the Desktop

We’ve snapped 170 or so home pages for UK universities and colleges. We published the results of a similar exercise for Canada’s higher education institutions, two weeks ago.

For this article we configured our software to do a photoshoot at standard desktop screen dimensions of 1920x1080 as the page would appear in Google Chrome. In other words, the image shows the 'above the fold' content for a desktop monitor.

Given the principal audience for these websites, the pages will be more frequently viewed on mobile devices. Consequently, a future post will examine a number of situations in which the mobile page version needs tweaking to be mobile friendly.

Tagging the Images

As we did in our early exercise, we’ve tagged the images to ‘describe’ their most prominent visual features, including any headlines, straplines or taglines:

  • buildings – an on-campus building
  • choices – no single focus but visitors can click links to execute defined tasks
  • individual – student, faculty or alumni profile
  • news – breaking or recent news and events
  • ranking – ranking or other institutional statistics
  • research – an example of current research
  • statement – a headline, mission or similar institutional statement
  • students – two or more students
  • work – a focus on career or work possibilities

We  believe we’ve selected the tags judiciously, but we readily acknowledge that reducing complex designs and messaging to a few categories will lack nuance.

We’ve carried over the tags from the earlier exercise with Canadian higher education institution home pages and we’ll combine the two galleries in due course.

Caveats 

Most pages require more than one tag, so pages will show up more than once.  UK university websites favour embedded video, and our snapshots only capture one moment (after all the on-page JavaScript has executed) of a longer visual message. We use Google Chrome as the browser (user agent) for image capture, so you may get slightly different results using Safari or Firefox.

Which Content Management Systems Power the Pages?

As well as descriptive tags we’ve added tags for the principal content management systems (CMS) rendering the pages. We've picked out the top six CMSs and lumped everyone else into OTHER. All CMS tags are in upper case.

Clicking on a tag filters and re-orders the gallery to show the breadth of home page design and content strategy approaches.

UK Higher Education Homepage Image Collection

 

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Don’t have accurate and current information on all the websites you own? Not able to monitor and check each website’s content quality and risk status? Let’s talk about how we can help.

 

Blog photo image: unsplash.com