Competitive Analysis — Yale School of Art Top Competitors

#1. Rhode Island School of Design

What they did well…

  • the website has a sleek and simplistic design
  • convenient search button in the top right-hand corner

What they could improve on…

  • the homepage consists mainly of articles & news
  • 11 navigation links in the menu, none include drop-downs
  • application information is mixed in with their other articles/there is barely any focus on application

#2. University of California, Los Angeles

What they did well…

  • has a stronger focus on application (yet given the same visual hierarchy as the ‘visit’ and ‘give’ buttons.

What they could improve on…

  • the visual hierarchy for the navigation links is quite low
  • includes a side navigation menu for schools and a top navigation menu for other links
  • includes a search bar, but text and icon contrast is not strong enough making it less likely for users to notice it
  • the second have of the homepage is very text-heavy and includes no images
  • the information on the homepage is limited and unnecessary

#3. Columbia University

What they did well…

  • use of effective and clean side navigation links, including the use of drop-downs to decrease the number of initial navigation links
  • has more of a focus on application
  • convenient search button in the top right-hand corner

What they could improve on…

  • the hero image is crowded and not dark enough to provide the necessary contrast for the overlaying text
  • the main focus of the homepage is news and events

What I Learned

I noticed that an easily accessible search bar/icon is important. The website’s competitors tend to showcase school news and events on the homepage instead of showcasing what makes their school unique. Some of the competitors had issues with having clean and effective navigation menus. This is something that I will focus on in the redesign.