After a year-and-a-half-long development process, the College’s Information Technology department is finally ready for the future. As of July 31, the College’s website sports a new look.
For many, a new look to the website is something that the College has desperately needed for years. The project, termed “re.web,” launched officially in February 2007, although a website redesign had been under consideration for some time before then. Provost Geoff Feiss created a web assessment committee in May of 2006 to determine what needed to be done with the College’s presence on the internet.
The project has been complicated due to the volume of pages on College web space, as well as the variety of users.
“A lot of people own individual websites in the College, and we had to talk to them all individually to make decisions about how it would look and how it would be structured, and how it would be set up,” Director of Web and Communication Services Susan Evans said. “We also bought new software to run the site.”
A “soft launch”:http://preview.wm.edu/ of the redesigned website was unveiled July 22. Evans said this allows a large audience to preview the website and submit comments or report errors.
One hope for the new site is that prospective students will be more able to find information about the College.
“We did some online surveys with high school juniors and early decision-admitted students back in December,” Evans said.
Evans said it will take some time for every page on the College’s site to conform.
“We won’t have every college site in the new look,” she said. “We’ll have lots and lots of pages and lots of lots of departments, but not everything. So we’ll be gradually moving people into the new look after we launch.”
The re.web committee members have been busy since the soft launch fielding questions and comments about the new website and has put in long hours dealing with feedback. The project has also kept the College community updated with the “re.web blog “:http://reweb.blogspot.com/, which recently won an eduStyle Award for Best Institutional Blog.
The former design has been in use for nearly a decade.
“Think of how the web has changed in the last ten years,” Evans said. Citing issues with out-of-date content as well as the need for a new feel, she added that the redesign was necessary. “[We are] trying to organize it in a way that is easier for the people who visit the site.”