Homepages for 2015 Clearing

As in 2014, I’ve taken a snapshot of every UK university homepage on A-Level results day. It’s a good chance to compare approaches to a similar task.  You can see all the homepages here (to go further back, Mike Nolan recently tweeted links to the screenshots as far back as 2012 last week).

Of the 132 homepages I screengrabbed, 115 had a reference to Clearing.

The best three – Lancaster, South Wales and Nottingham Trent

Take a deep breath and count to top 10

Simplicity, reassuring, clear calls to action and a nice twist.

South Wales Clearing homepage

Not the only homepage to visually reference their call centre, I liked the authenticity of this photograph. I’d be surprised to be told this is a stock image, I’m entirely convinced that if I dialled their clearing hotline this is exactly who would answer my call.

NTU Clearing homepage

Another design focusing on the phone, but very different, showing that stock-type imagery can work well in the right hands.

2015 trends in numbers

Inevitably, there’s lots of repetition in concepts and imagery across the 115 websites. I’ve listed a few that stood out below, along with the number of institutions that used them.

Direct eye contact – 15

Direct eye contact

Direct eye contact in Clearing homepages
Enigmatic off-camera stare – 4

Coventry's clearing landing page

Direct eye contact from a frog – 1

I say direct eye contact, but it could be enigmatically staring off-camera, I’m not sure.

Direct eye contact from a frog

Laughing in a group – 34

As popular as ever.

Durham students laughing in a group
Laughing alone – 4

LJMU clearing homepage

Old telephones – 2

As with ‘best of the year’ Nottingham Trent above, the University of Essex displayed a rotary dial telephone to encourage hotline calls.

Essex Clearing homepage

Prominent hashtags – 7

In a year that gave us #heyUEA, surprisingly few led with prominent hashtags.


Big headphones – 4

London South Bank University clearing homepage

Hearts – 3

I suppose love is more in the air during the spring applicant offer stage of the process than late summer clearing, just three websites pushing hearts.

Match made in Salford




Web Manager for the College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham.

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