University of Central Arkansas

The Client

Located in Conway, Arkansas, the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) is the state’s second largest public university.

The Situation

University recruitment has changed dramatically since the advent of the Internet. Long gone are the days of direct mail marketing and traveling to area high schools to talk with juniors and seniors. Today, tech-savvy teens often decide what college they’ll attend long before setting foot on its campus. And helping them make one of the most important decisions of their lives are University Web sites. Not surprisingly, schools with highly attractive, interactive, user-friendly, information-rich Web sites consistently capture the attention—and ultimately the tuition dollars—of future students.

The Challenge

This simple realization was the driving force behind UCA’s decision to redesign its Web site, www.uca.edu, which was originally built around 2000. Results of a student opinion survey revealed that most students found the Web site “boring,” “hard to navigate,” and lacking the information they wanted. That was not the impression UCA officials wanted to make on potential students. So UCA issued an RFP and hired Softwyre to redesign its antiquated Web site.

The Solution

The mission of this project was to attract more Freshmen and boost enrollment; create a professional and technologically current image online that lives up to UCA’s reputation offline, and resonates with high school seniors; and allow departments to update their own content without routing change requests through one person in IT.

Softwyre achieved the mission by working closely with UCA staff to reorganize the content structure of the site according to the various audience groups (future students, current students, faculty, parents, visitors and alumni); creating a warm, sleek, up-to-the-minute home page design and an age-appropriate Future Students design aimed at 16- to 18-year olds; integrating the site into an enterprise Content Management System (CMS); and using Web 2.0 technologies including AJAX, Flash, RSS, e-mail marketing and blogs.

The Results

Since the site launched in early 2008 UCA has enjoyed record student enrollment, which increased more than 2.7 percent from the previous year.


  • AJAX
  • Flash
  • Content Management System
  • Custom Future Students graphic design
  • Web CT Login
  • Site Search


  • Business Analysis
  • Information Architecture
  • Graphic Design
  • Luminis CMS Integration
  • Custom Programming
  • CMS Training
  • Content Entry
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