I am building a website where students can register themselves build their profiles. These profiles could be viewed by registered institutions to see if they are a right fit for them and invite them to their school. Which type of profile page would be preferred from the following:

  1. LinkedIn or Facebook style profile page which contains the consistent same UI with minor changes like adding header image, profile picture and all

  2. Something like about.me or weebly where we can create personal pages from a template.

  • Hi Vedaantees. Your question is way too broad to answer and could yield loads of answers. In the end the correct answer is 'it depends'. It depends on: What is the goal of your page? What is the problem you are solving for your target users? What are their main tasks? What are the business goals? etc. – GWv Mar 31 '16 at 14:06
  • Changed the question and made it more specific. – Abhay Naik Mar 31 '16 at 17:23
  • Vedaantees. There isn't a UX answer to this question aside from testing your users. Make mock-ups in different styles and then ask your users. You'll get your answer. – Mayo Mar 31 '16 at 18:13
  • Mayo, I understand your suggestion. If I had to scope the question to users, I would have done it already. But I am expecting expert suggestions like the one Dennis gave below. The question is about checking the feel with bigger audience of what they feel a UI could go better with, a consistent design or template each page. Like if you consider yourself to be a school teacher who wish to find students in particular field, how would you like a page to be presented? Would you like to see the consistent structure of page or varied one. – Abhay Naik Mar 31 '16 at 19:12

The best design is going to be one that meets your goals as the provider of the page/service, and the goals of the end users.

Work out what the page is for

You've not stated why you're providing this profile page. The answer to that might seem obvious, but you need to decide on the exact reasons for/purpose of this profile page, what features and functionality you want to offer (these will ideally come from an understanding of the users' goals), and then choose the design that most effectively meets those requirements.

Lean towards consistency

If it's still 50/50 and you can't make a reasonable distinction between the two options, the I'd advise to lean towards the design that will end up with greater consistency across all pages. In this case, that would be Option 1.

If you do end up going for Option 2, make sure that the variety in the template options is constrained to options that work with the rest of your site or app. Otherwise you risk ending up with a profiles section that looks like Myspace, or Geocities.

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