All Case Studies

Case Study: National University Web Strategy

Client: National University
Project Year: 2018
Objective: Develop a strategy for sustainable and effective web management, then overhaul the primary university website, increasing inquiries.

The Challenge

National University needed a major website redesign to improve user engagement, streamline the conversion process, and shed an image of “for-profitness” despite their not-for-profit status. The task required consulting with stakeholders, generating goodwill across university offices, providing technical recommendations, hiring a development team, assessing conversion rate optimization opportunities, and designing the most performant website possible.

The Strategy

Bravery was tasked with managing the redesign of National University’s website and buliding out an internal team. Embedding staff in the university as an interim director of web strategy, three months of research and strategic planning resulted in a Webite Strategy Guide focused on increasing conversion rates.

Initially, the plan involved overseeing an external design agency. However, after discussions with an agency skilled in paid media and conversion growth, it was decided that their creative output did not meet the high standards set by the core project team, which included Aaron Edgell and Seth Odell from NU, and Joel Goodman from Bravery. The decision was made to keep the redesign in-house to maintain creative control and ensure the highest quality outcome.

Three mobile screenshots of National University's 2018 website. Includes the homepage, a program page, and a standard page.

The Execution

With a lean team of five, Bravery executed the design process within a tight two-month timeframe. The entire project, including research and strategy, lasted five months. The process involved:

  • Stakeholder Engagement: Meetings with previous stakeholders to build consensus and goodwill.
  • Technical Assessment: Providing a rationale for platform choices and evaluating the website’s technical needs.
  • Conversion Rate Optimization: Identifying opportunities to improve conversion rates and streamline user actions.
  • Creative Direction: Ensuring the creative aspects of the redesign met the high standards of the core team.

The Outcome

The redesigned website by Bravery resulted in a significant performance boost for National University. The small team’s focused efforts led to a final product that not only met but exceeded expectations. Seth Odell, at the time, vice chancellor for marketing, expressed pride in the results and the positive impact the new site had on the organization.

“I could not be more proud of the final product we have, the team that developed it, and the results this new site is driving for our organization. With Bravery’s help – and Joel’s leadership specifically – we built a lean, nimble, highly talented team that delivered a first class website, with the results to back it up.”
Seth Odell

Three desktop screenshots of National University's 2018 website. Includes the homepage, a program page, and a standard page.

The Impact

Bravery’s contribution to National University’s website redesign generated millions of dollars in additional revenue and assisted thousands of new students in obtaining an excellent education. Execution on a carefully developed strategey increased conversion rates by 128% year-over-year and NU saw a minimum 45x return on investment.


The case study of National University’s website redesign demonstrates the effectiveness of a small, dedicated team in executing a high-stakes project. Bravery’s approach, emphasizing stakeholder engagement, technical expertise, and creative excellence, led to a successful outcome that benefitted the university’s growth.

Note: Due to leadership changes, National University’s website has since been redesigned by someone other than Bravery.