Episode 9: Higher Ed Homogeneity

Episode 9: Higher Ed Homogeneity
Season 1

 
 
00:00 / 35:00
 
1X

Joel and J.S. discuss the sameness of marketing, design, and website user experiences across higher education and try to suss out ways to inject new life and variety into how we market our colleges and universities.

Episode 9: Higher Ed Homogeneity
Season 1

 
 
00:00 / 35:00
 
1X

Joel and J.S. discuss the sameness of marketing, design, and website user experiences across higher education and try to suss out ways to inject new life and variety into how we market our colleges and universities.

Joel mentions this past talk in the show: Study Abroad (2013)

Episode 9 Transcript

Jon-Stephen Stansel
Welcome to Thought Feeder. I’m Jon-Stephen Stansel and with me, as always, is Joel Goodman, and today we’re going to talk about something that, you know, strikes to the heart of what we talk about, we’re going to talk about a homogeny, homogeny, homogeny. Your site looks like my site looks like their site looks like, so on and so on and so on.

Joel Goodman
Yeah, this is something that I think anyone that has worked in higher education for longer than six months, and has gone to any conference, has heard some talk or at least seen the title of some talk that has tried to address this problem of “all of our websites look the same.” I mean, it’s an old trope in our circles, our higher education, web, digital circles, but a lot of the conversations we have are centered around this idea of, “there isn’t anything new in higher ed.” And I’ve given talks on how to try to be better. I know lots of other people that have given talks on this very problem, and J.S. and I were talking about this, even you know way early when we were just planning the show in general as an overarching topic for one of the episodes because we both feel that it’s very important.

In this episode, we’re gonna talk mostly about websites, and this also extends into almost every piece of digital marketing that universities do from social media to ad writing to copywriting to honestly billboards, which are mostly the same. And, and the biggest issue that I see around this is that there’s no differentiation when you just look like your neighbor institution. You know? When your university is designing a website based on other higher education websites that you like or that a VP or vice-chancellor or dean or president likes, you’re not doing anything to help yourself in terms of standing out in the marketplace. And especially in the US, higher education is is a competitive field. There are over 5000, higher education institutions in the United States alone, not counting, Canada, not counting study abroad sorts of situations. And if you’re not standing out within that 5000 plus group of universities and colleges, you’re not helping yourself.

So we want to kind of dive in and talk about some of the commonalities, some of the lingering homogeneity that has stuck around for the last 15 plus years and hopefully we find some ways to fix it. I don’t know J.S., is there anything good about homogeneity?

J.S.
Well, you know, allow me to play devil’s advocate — or should I say VP’s advocate here? I want my university’s website to look like a University website; we are strong we are prestigious we want, when people see our website, we want them to know about the amazing research that is going on here. We want 50 things in the slider. We want it to look like the institutions that we aspire to be like, so why shouldn’t we be homogenous?

That’s not really the question they’re gonna ask, but, why shouldn’t we have that giant banner at the top with a picture of somebody putting something inside a test tube? How will people know we’re a university if we don’t have that?

JG
It’s an industry aesthetic. We gotta, we gotta play into the aesthetic right.

J.S.
How will they know we do research if we don’t have photos of people putting things into test tubes?

JG
Or 15 news stories about random faculty people doing random research, things that no one’s going to read!

J.S.
Right.

JG
I mean maybe that’s valid, except that, especially if you have the same colors as another research institution, no one can visually separate you in any way. Like, those photos are the same.

The other problem, I think, with the “showing” of this research, is that we hire the same photographers, or we buy the same stock photos from the same stock photography repositories…

J.S.
Well, even if we’re not using stock photos, somebody putting something inside a test tube looks the same whether or not you’re at a university in Portland, Oregon or Portland, Maine. It’s the same, a laboratory looks like a laboratory, and we’ve mentioned this on previous episodes going on about our campuses. Our campuses are beautiful but a college campus looks like a college campus. What makes your school unique and different from the others? Because, really, when prospective students are looking at university websites they’re going, they’re jumping from website to website to website and seeing the same tropes and the same things and going well, why is the school better than the two or three other schools I’ve looked at before.

JG
Yeah, and from a user experience standpoint, if we get into the real like hard data side of it, for a long time there was a commonality in navigation structures. You’d have your audience navigation, you’d have your task navigation, and then you’d have your junk drawer quick-links — which okay fine — and then you’d have your main overarching topical navigation for the rest of the site, and there’s, there’s been an argument for a long time that these are valuable ways to do navigation and we don’t need to reassess it. We don’t really have any reason to look at data or to try to improve it because every other university uses the same navigation patterns and so if a prospective student comes to your site you want them to be able to navigate the site super quickly, and the only way they’re going to know how to do that is if you have the exact same navigation structure, as every other university’s website out there.

I think there’s some validity to that on the side of yeah familiarity is great, you know like, like you’re reducing friction in some cases when users already know what a certain term means or where a certain link is supposed to go. But at the same time, when those navigation structures were invented by a higher ed agency like 20 years ago and we haven’t reassessed them since beyond, you know, hiding our topic navigation in a hamburger menu on desktop — which I don’t advise you do. Ever. You know, there’s got to be a point where we check our assumptions and check these trends against real people and against real users. And continue to test. Continue to make sure that there aren’t better ways to organize our content, organize our navigation for students, and that largely doesn’t happen in higher ed.

And there are reasons like we don’t have the money, we don’t have the staffing, we don’t have the time, the agency that we worked with said we should do it this way. Those are excuses, plain and simple. Like, sure they might be valid, to some extent, but at some point, one university out there is going to wise up and realize that they should be putting their effort into reassessing stuff like that and they’re going to pull ahead, and maybe it’ll be your competitor.

Maybe your competitor’s listening to this episode of Thought Feeder, and they’re thinking, “Ah! This seems like a calculated risk that we can afford. Maybe we’ll just start testing and start actually looking at what the data says.” And you aren’t going to do that, but they’re probably gonna pull ahead and beat you. And, you know, you look the same as them so.

J.S.
There are data and testing that’s not putting things into a test tube, so.

But that also brings us to the fact of, you know, we focus a lot of time on university homepages but generally, the homepage is not a prospective student’s first interaction online with your university. You know I like to say, and others have said it before me. I didn’t say it, but I like to say it. Every page is your homepage.

JG
Yeah. I think one major cause of this is that you look at your Google Analytics and your homepage has the most visits, so the assumption is that, well, of course, everyone’s going to the homepage first. But actually, I would guess that most of the people that are hitting your homepage are either internal constituents — people that work for the university or your current students, or maybe it’s you just hitting the homepage a lot. Especially if you do a lot of paid display advertising, you should not be sending people to your homepage and you’re probably not. You’re probably sending them to a custom SEO landing page that you’ve built, and that’s fine too.

But your homepage is kind of like a catch-all. It’s like a default. When someone searches for your university on Google, I would guess they’re probably, if they’re a prospective student or about to become a prospective student, they are probably clicking on the Academics link that shows up on your search engine results page and trying to get into the content they’re actually looking for versus wade through a homepage sales pitch that, you know, has six news stories that aren’t relevant to them and is super heavy because you’ve got a video on it, and a giant video on it.

J.S.
A drone video.

JG
And lots of photos — a drone video. Ah, so actually this was a good… so yeah we talked about the drone videos before [in a previous episode]. I was doing a competitor audit for a client, and one of them, one of the university’s competitor’s websites that I looked at, they had a homepage video but it was one of those, you know — and these are getting more popular I think as people are seeing that everyone has campus drone videos — but it was just a quick shot like a bunch of scenes across campus like here’s a fountain, here are two students walking down a pathway sort of thing. But this institution, whoever produced the video for them had the, I’m guessing they were real students and faculty in it, but whoever was acting in these videos were so over-exaggerated in their facial expressions. And it was, it just felt frenetic. It was just quick cuts and wide pans and people with these way too happy grins on their faces with a, you know, moving in slow motion and it was, it was the weirdest…

J.S.
Sounds like the beginning of Miami Vice.

JG
Yes! But cut even more quickly. It was, it was disconcerting. I was like, this seems more like a cult than a university. I don’t really know that I want to be a part of this place, even if they are having very happy people doing research. You know, it’s like test tubes flying through the air, well in someone’s hand like so instead of just putting something into a test tube they’re like waving the test tube around.

J.S.
By the end of this episode, we can come up with something to better signify science than a test tube. I mean, man.

JG
No, I don’t think so. Chalkboard?

J.S.
I was going to say, we’ve been focusing on university websites, but looking at social media and I’ve been taking a deep dive into some Facebook ads that universities are running and kind of doing a competitor analysis of what’s going on and that’s the signifier. It’s that same shot of somebody holding a test tube in their left hand and in their right, they’re squirting something into the test tube, every school has it. I mean we joke about the girl under a tree, you know, all of those sort of cliche shots, but we all do it because we can’t think of a better way to signify research than a test tube and a white lab jacket.

JG
It’s two students in lab jackets and safety goggles with a professor and one of them’s holding a test tube and one of them’s looking like, I don’t know what’s going on, you know, at whatever the research professor’s doing. And, you know, they’re framed the same way and the lighting is super bright and it’s a very distinct style. And that’s okay. But I’ve worked with institutions that have moved away from that and maybe they’re not a research institution, but just, in general, the photography style that they implement is not your prototypical higher education, custom stock sort of thing, you know?

There are great photographers that work with higher ed exclusively and that have developed a style that I think is fantastic, and they do really good work. The problem is that when everyone utilizes that same style, every university or every college utilizes that same style, sure, someone knows you’re a college, someone knows you’re a university, but they don’t know which one you are because, because you’re not doing anything to help your brand. Photography and all those visual elements are a distinct part of your unique brand, and if you’re watering it down, you’re not doing yourself any favors.

J.S.
Are we advertising, our college, or are we advertising college as a concept?

JG
Yeah!

J.S.
And I think we need to ask ourselves that when we look at what we’re producing. Like, is this us, or is this just higher education in general? What are we selling? Because we’re putting time and money into these ads. I mean, we can talk all about homepages but it’s every single aspect of university marketing from digital, your homepage and website, to we mentioned billboards, to your TV spots. Look at university TV spots. They all look absolutely identical.

Ask yourself, if we change the colors out to a different university color, does it still look like us from the imagery that we use? If we take the University of Whatever blue out, does it still look like that university? Nine times out of 10, I’d say the answer’s no.

JG
I mean even, even down to the identity work when, when I worked in Christian higher ed… The last university that I worked at, we went through a rebranding process while I was there and I remember our design director, he and I just being in anguish over what the agency that we were working with was pitching. The Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management really wanted… a shield as the logo, because in education, shields represent prestige and knowledge, you know, Harvard has a shield.

J.S.
The university I work for has a shield so…

I will say this, my favorite university logo ever — I’m gonna get a brag on somebody right now — is Oregon State University. Their shield is incredible. It looks like they had Aaron Draplin design it. They didn’t. It’s just.

JG
[laugh] They could’ve. He’s there.

J.S.
It’s just incredible. It’s like something out of a Wes Anderson movie. It does, it looks like a university but it’s clean, it’s fresh, it’s, it’s just I mean chef’s kiss for a university shield logo, I love it. But, yes, to your point with like Christian universities and, like, just a shield doesn’t always work.

JG
And the issue is when you’re in a certain bracket, so Christian higher education, in general, is a very specific niche within the larger higher ed culture. They’ve got their own Consortium, you know, they’re all about the same size, some are quite a bit bigger than others but they’re you know they’re all around the 1000 to 4000 student mark somewhere around there. You don’t have many Christian institutions that are you know 20,000-30,000 or anything like that. So when every single one of them has a shield logo, how do you differentiate yourself?

You’re teaching the same things, you have the same number of students, there are tons and tons of you in the Midwest and your logos are all the same. It waters down the value of what your institution does from an academic practice, and it makes your marketing way less effective because you’re just contributing to the noise, you’re not cutting anywhere beyond the rest of the noise. Visual, audio, otherwise. You’re, you’re just contributing to it, and it presents an opportunity for other people to pull ahead.

Like I said, you may be listening to this podcast and thinking, “Hmm, maybe I will try something different because everyone else is doing the same thing.” I think you should do that! I think you have a good chance of pulling ahead. I think you have a good chance of, you know, helping your institution out. Maybe give it a try. And that’s my top tip today.

J.S.
You can even make it sound like a university tagline. Be you, be different.

JG
Start Here, be different. [laughs]

Okay J.S. Taglines. Let’s talk about taglines.

J.S.
Okay. They’re all the same.

I think that that’s… sigh. That goes without saying. Just look at any university’s hashtags — or, excuse me, taglines.

JG
Well, their hashtags are the same too.

J.S.
[laughs] But the tagline that’s most memorable is UT-Austin, which I think is a good tagline. “What starts here changes the world.” But one university sees that and goes, Hey, that’s nice, that’s a nice tagline I want something like that! You have something that’s like, start here, change the world. You know, it kind of devolves from like this one hashtag.

I work in social media everything’s a hashtag.

One tagline, just slowly devolves into all of these clones that are just some something similar so it goes from you know “what starts here changes the world” to “change the world start here”, “start here, change yourself,” and just all these kind of key phrases that sound prestigious. Like we want, we want words like “change” and “new” and “here.”

JG
[in unison] “Here”.

“Here” is in all of them.

J.S.
“Here” is in all of them!

JG
It’s actually particularly interesting, I just had this thought. Through the digital shift that the COVID-19 pandemic has put in place, the temporal reality is… weird. Because no one is “here” anymore.

J.S.
It’s almost like they, they’re playing the magnetic poetry game with university taglines.

JG
And they only have like five words.

J.S.
Right, yeah. There are five words and it’s, “how we can rearrange them into some sort of university Haiku?” And nine times out of 10, you know, students don’t remember what’s your tagline is. I’ll bet if I went, you know, there’s no one on campus right now, but if I walked on campus when there were students there and said, “Hey what’s the university tagline?”

JG
Well, I think, I think even just the messaging side of it right like the messaging is, by majority, all about me, me, me.

J.S.
Yeah.

JG
I thought about this earlier when you were talking about some of the homepage, politics, I guess. But I think a lot of this is driven in some part by ego. It might be latent ego, but some of this is, is driven by ego, right? And I think a lot of how higher ed talks about itself, in some ways, does have an air of arrogance, arrogance might be harsh but…

J.S.
I think there are two types of ego. There’s the personal ego of the faculty member that comes in and goes “my research is important and we need to have this on the homepage” sort of mentality. And then there’s overall our ego as higher ed.

And now, again, I’ve said this before, I have drunk the higher ed Kool-Aid. I am all on board with the higher ed mission. It’s important. But, we want to sound important

JG
Yes, we do.

J.S.
We want to sound prestigious no matter where we are, you know? I remember I had one boss who wanted us to sell ourselves like an Ivy League institution and at the time, the university I was at, it was not Ivy League and that’s okay. It’s fine to not be Ivy League, it’s fine to be a state school. You’re adding value as a state school, you’re adding value as a community college. You have your place. Not every place has to be Yale or Harvard and have to be this super-prestigious institution. There’s a point of, we are providing education to our community and enriching people’s lives, enriching our community’s lives, and we don’t have to sound like… we almost want to appear slightly out of reach.

JG
Yeah.

J.S.
And I think that’s a dangerous mentality for us to continue to have. I would have said that five years ago and I’m gonna say that even more strongly now.

JG
Yeah.

J.S.
We need… “University, within your reach.” That’d be our tagline for today. I think that’s part of the big ego that that is in it.

Yeah, and I think that drives a lot of how we craft marketing messaging. So the, “what starts here” it’s like we’re trying to say “we’re better than…” something. I mean we look, we look like Neighbor, but we’re better than Neighbor, even though we sound like Neighbor. I wonder what happens when we take our marketing messages or our taglines and our campaigns and we focus them on the students that we want to have, you know? When we talk about them, versus talking about us and how we’re good for them. Talk about them and what they’re going to do, and, you know, take that air of … fanciness? [chuckle] No, the air of arrogance, out of it.

JG
Like I think about National University, again. Seth Odell is a good friend. I respect, so much of the work that he has done. I think he’s done really incredible things in marketing for higher education. When I was working with them a couple of years ago in 2018, they were launching these 30-day courses that people could take. And they’re non-traditional for the most part. It’s mostly adult education, but their whole marketing around it was, “What can you do in 30 days?” It had nothing to do with “National University.” It just had to do with, what can you get done in 30 days? It was encouraging. It was challenging, a little bit, and it worked great. It was a really good campaign. They built a lot of really cool messaging around it, but none of it was about National University is going to make you do something in 30 days. It was what can you do in 30 days, we’re here to help you. Here are some things that that we can do to help you out. This is us working with you for you to do things in 30 days, not for us to do something in 30 days with you and you know that sort of thing.

But I wonder what happens when more of that messaging starts to get out, you know? When more traditional universities start focusing on the undergrad population that is going to be starting school. I mean, especially with how generational messaging changes anyway, right? Like kids want to be going out on their own doing stuff for themselves and, you know, making themselves into something. It makes sense to focus that messaging on them particularly and not just on the institution.

J.S.
So, what do we do about it? What’s the solution well how do we break out of the homogeneity? I feel like the biggest problem with it is the snowball effect of, we see one school do it and somebody else does it and it’s kind of gets to this one giant ball of same. How do we break out of it?

JG
I worry it’s too systemic. sigh I don’t know. I have ideas of how we could break out of it but I don’t know that higher ed is ready because I think there’s just too much of an ingrained response to marketing within the industry and, yeah. So, I guess, some things. I think. Geez.

I think if you don’t have a CMO or someone in a similar position, get someone in charge of marketing and maybe get someone in charge of marketing that is risky. Maybe don’t hire a CMO that’s coming from another university and was a director of marketing. Hire someone that, geez, I don’t know, comes from tech. Or comes from a competitive field where you know where they were charged with doing something really cool and having to differentiate themselves from competitors.

J.S.
As much as I like that idea I feel sorry for that person.

JG
Oh yeah, no doubt. And good luck getting someone.

J.S.
Yeah, well I mean coming into higher ed it’s just such a learning to navigate University politics and why things are done a certain way.

It can be very frustrating. As I see new people entering the field that are going straight from university into higher ed marketing, who are kind of frustrated with like, “why do we have to do this?” Or, you know, one thing I often ask myself and kind of think, how many decisions have been made, so long ago because two people that are no longer at the university made them for some reason? I could tell you a million stories, but this is one of my favorite stories.

JG
Yeah.

J.S.
I work at the University of Central Arkansas, and our school colors are purple and gray, and they were chosen over 100 years ago because two faculty members were put on a committee asked to decide the colors, and when they met one was wearing a purple sweater, the other was wearing a grey scarf, and they said hey, look at you, look at you.

JG
[laughs] That’s so good.

J.S.
These are our colors, and I mean, of course, this was, I can’t remember the exact year, but like 1910 or whatever. They weren’t thinking, “oh we need to do market research and figure this out.” They were like, “Hey I like your sweater,” “I like your scarf.” And that is an institutional branding decision that we are going to live with for pretty much, forever. And, you know, breaking out of some of those is going to be difficult. One thing I see that I like a lot… You know before this I worked at Texas State University, and one issue they had, their main colors are maroon and gold. And they’re in Texas. And there’s one other school in Texas that uses… if you think Maroon in Texas, you’re not thinking Texas State University. You’re thinking,

JG
[Texas] A&M.

J.S.
A&M. Home to friend of the show Michael Green

JG
Good ‘ol Michael.

J.S.
And one thing I’ve noticed recently in Texas State’s ads, they’re introducing more secondary colors into their palette and actually featuring the secondary colors rather than the main brand colors. Which I think is amazing. This is a bold statement, a bold move. It gets your attention, it still looks like Texas State because they’ve got their logo and branding on there, and you’ve got the primary colors in there. But there are ways to kind of move out of some of these things that we find ourselves stuck in, we just need the right person that kind of gives us a kick in the rear make us do it.

JG
Yeah, and I think alongside that if any leadership is listening to this, you need some flexibility. And you need to realize that not everything is a risk. There are some things that you can do that are just good for growth and good for expansion. Just because it’s different, it’s not something risky and you can calculate how risky something is going to be. I think that’s the biggest thing, you know? We’re such a risk-averse industry in general, that we’re almost paralyzed to do anything new on a marketing front or to think differently because this is how we’ve marketed to prospective students for the last 30 years,

J.S.
I think the risk aversion that we have is the biggest risk we face.

JG
Yeah, I agree. That’s, yeah that’s good. That’s completely accurate. If we’re going to stay risk-averse, we’re risking any longevity that we could possibly have in the marketplace, and that’s that’s dangerous. I mean, that’ll cause all kinds of issues… and closures, which is not good. It’s not good.

The other thing. I don’t know how valuable this is, but you know, switch up your agency? Maybe vet your agencies, if you’re not going to redesign in-house or you’re not going to do your advertising in house. Don’t go with an agency just because you like another higher ed website that they did, go with an agency that is promising results, and has a track record of producing results. And results should not be in your mind, a “pretty website” that they once designed. I mean those are nice, like, everyone wants your website to look really good. But if your website looks nice and doesn’t give you more leads, doesn’t get more conversions, doesn’t get you more requests for information, it’s not worth the, you know, a quarter of a million to half a million dollars you’re going to spend on a website redesign. You need to be looking at, “will this thing perform,” first, and then if it’s performing, “can we also have it look good and be pretty?”

J.S.
Form follows function, right?

JG
Yeah, I think especially on the web, yes. And you can have both! That’s the thing, you can have both, but you need to make sure for something as mission-critical as a website for a university, it needs to perform for us, it needs to have that functional ability to bring in prospective students, and get you more applicants. Or, if you’re not talking about your main university website, it’s something else, you know? It needs to be able to retain admitted students. You need to have something that’s going to stop melt, keep people engaged in your brand in a way that makes them excited to become part of your community. That’s probably another episode, but there’s a lot of that that goes into, like, social media messaging, and like you sound like everyone else and you’re trying to engage… you know, your email drip campaign is the same as — if you’re using an email drip campaign, and you know students don’t like it, you have to find other ways and you have to mix that stuff up. But that’s a wider strategy discussion, probably.

J.S.
It comes back to that. I think what you’re saying is, not being risk-averse and being willing to change things up and say, hey, maybe we’re going to start looking at industries, outside of higher ed and modeling ourselves after that, rather than model ourselves after the university down the street. And, again, another episode but one of the biggest problems I have with social media is, you know, School A posts this type of content and School B does this type of content, right, and then all of a sudden everybody thinks that’s the thing we’ve got to do. I saw a school down the street post a message with their mascot saying stand six feet away for COVID-19. We need one of our mascot and suddenly we’re creating this content for no other purpose than keeping up with the Joneses, and that’s not a marketing strategy. That’s not a communication strategy. It doesn’t say our university is different in a way that makes you want to attend.

JG
And the Johnny-come-lately look, is never good unless you improve upon whatever you’re copying, right? And you have to greatly improve upon it. Like, Apple is really the only company that does that well; take something that already exists and make it better. And then sell it. And that’s generally not what higher ed does with content. So come up with something new, you know, or try something different, but I think I think J.S. is right. And we’ll close out the episode on this. I think looking at industries outside… it’s funny, I gave a talk about this at the now no longer existing Elements Conference slash Penn State Web Conference, probably like five years ago. About exactly that, about looking outside of higher ed, for ideas. Looking outside of higher ed for ways to improve a user experience flow, like an on-page journey map sort of a thing.

But in that talk, I noticed how all of the [wireless] companies, all their home pages look the same, because the new iPhone had come out. So like, you go to T-Mobile or Verizon or AT&T or Sprint and they all looked the same. The homepage is exactly the same. Or you go to airline websites at that time, and I think it was only Virgin Atlantic had a different website and was doing cool UX stuff. And now, Delta has moved on from that, and American Airlines, their websites are looking better and they put a focus on user experience design and didn’t put focus on copying their neighbors. And take a look at the airline industry today and, I mean, right now none of them are doing very good, but Delta, even in times of economic downturn when no one can fly, Delta has pulled ahead of everyone because they put a ton of effort and resources and money into improving their design.

J.S.
Well, to sum up, I would say, we need to start looking at other industries, outside of higher ed for ways to innovate because no one is looking at higher ed for ways to innovate.

JG
OHHHHHHH. Yeah.

Yes.

J.S.
Mic drop.


As always, thank you for listening to the Thought Feeder podcast. If you don’t subscribe yet, please visit thoughtfeederpod.com. If you don’t follow us on Twitter, we’re @ThoughtFeedPod. You can also follow me personally @joelgoodman, and my cohost Jon-Stephen Stansel, @jsstansel. You can find Thought Feeder wherever you get your podcasts 

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2 replies on “Episode 9: Higher Ed Homogeneity”

Yes, definitely! I had this law in mind when we recorded this episode. I think there’s a difference between consistency and homogeneity. I also think within the Laws of UX there has to be room to progress and improve. UX methods evolve rapidly with devices, trends, and needs, and higher ed tends to stay stuck in the past.

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