Clarion, Pa.- The Clarion University website: Students love it and hate it. They use it nearly every day of their
academic careers. Recently a makeover of the site was launched. Aiming at convenience and user friendliness, the website now sports a sleek, easily navigable design that features many familiar faces of the current student body throughout its pages and sections. Dr. James Geiger, vice-president of University Advancement, said the new website is important and has a far-reaching impact that projects a fresh, revamped university. He calls the new website the “front door to the university.”
With the university focusing more and more each passing year on attracting prospective students, Geiger said an attractive and aesthetically pleasing website that is simultaneously user-friendly was of the utmost importance. The previous site design was roughly five years old with over 30,000 pages of content accumulated over the years, making it difficult to comb through. The redesign process, helmed by the university’s web-design and marketing teams with assistance from third party groups Mind over Media and OmniUpdate, took approximately 18 months to complete.
Throughout this process, the primary objective was providing a website that would make it easier for new students to figure out what the university had to offer, both in academics and extracurricular activity. It also needed to allow current students to find everything they normally needed to on the website without frustration or confusion as a result of the sweeping changes. “I like the new website,” said senior Lewis Fenoglietto. “It just took some getting used to at first. But after being here for so long, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it had gotten an update.”
Geiger said the design team took a “mobile-first” approach in its efforts to revamp the website with features such as dynamic screen scaling and having the majority of the content posted below the top blurbs, promoting a scroll-down method of search. This style enables the university to post more important news stories at the top of the page to grab immediate attention, with the rest of the content posted directly below. Moreover, the new format allows for much easier, much quicker updating of the website and its features. This means additional changes and updates can be made more easily and more often.