Makeover for wm.edu

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February 8, 2008

4:00 PM

The College’s website, which receives millions of visits each year, will receive a makeover in an effort to streamline the site and increase appeal to potential applicants. The new design was revealed last week.

p. The process began last February when Provost Geoffrey Feiss initiated a committee to develop a new web presence for the College. The committee included members of the College administration, faculty, students and alumni, as well as six representatives from Information Technology.

p. “The website need[ed] to be redesigned because right now it does not accurately represent our college,” committee member Sarah Rojas ’10 said. “Sometimes people don’t realize that many international viewers or prospective students judge our college solely on the website.” She added that the current site is seven years old.

p. The committee kept in mind the recent student opposition to the new logo, and although only two students sat on the committee — Rojas and Patrick Donaldson ’08 — they were careful to include student opinions in each step of the process.

p. In several separate visits last year, representatives from mStoner, a web consultant company that has worked with Princeton University and the University of Virginia, talked with students, faculty and staff about the College and what the website should be.

p. “Making sure the website is student-friendly and student-approved [was] a top priority,” Rojas said. “The decision to use Concept One was supported by every member of [the] committee, all the feedback we received and by Provost Geoff Feiss and President Gene Nichol.”

p. Rojas added that feedback has been positive overall.

p. “Most all of the feedback we received before the final concept was decided on was in favor of Concept One, and the support has only continued,” she said.

p. The consulting firm originally made three different website mockups. The mockup known as Concept One was ultimately chosen.

p. Rojas said that the chosen design was her favorite. It incorporates large, colorful pictures with a horizontal navigation bar and information on College news and events.

p. “I think it brings the new and interesting perspective that we are looking for and expresses the William and Mary community well, while easily laying out the main links needed,” she said.

p. According to the project website, over 2,000 prospective and early admission students, a key demographic, have been asked for feedback.

p. The College’s Law School, School of Education and Virginia Institute of Marine Science will also receive new web pages based on the new main page.

p. Rojas said the site is set to go live this summer.

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