The process of recreating the Webster University website is underway. In a discussion in Sunnen Lounge, Monday, Feb. 27, Patrick Powers presented the phase one goals and ideas for the changes to be made.
After his presentation, the floor was opened up for faculty and staff to ask questions and raise concerns. The event was also streamed live to all Webster campuses.
Powers said the look and feel of the site will be determined primarily by the Global and Marketing Communications team, but feedback from those who will be using it is imperative.
“This site is only going to be as good as the input of our community,” Powers said.
Powers, director of digital marketing and communications, said the main goal of the site should be to enhance the reputation of the university, as well as increasing functionality for its users.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for someone who’s excited about being here or excited about coming here to share that information with all of their friends,” Powers said. “My goal is to make this as easy as Facebook.”
The other objectives are:
— Position Webster as a premier U.S. based university, setting the standard for global education.
— Enhance the digital experience for all audiences.
— Balance control and consistency within the Webster brand.
— Make it easy for audiences to find information.
Powers also said the website should be usable in all formats of viewing and proofed for the future of technology. That means it will be updated for mobile and tablet formats, and continue to grow with technology.
Jennifer Stewart, assistant director of the UC, raised the idea of adding more interactive media elements to the website, such as virtual campus tours, in addition to the interactive map the current website has.
A couple of attendees brought up questions regarding the extent of customization each department will have to their page.
Powers said each page on the site will have a template, but departments will have some room to make their page targeted to their specific audience, be it dance programs or student affairs.
Concerns on who the main audience would be were brought up, as well.
Powers mentioned that for the first time, user-centered research was conducted to see how users navigate. Students were asked to complete tasks using the website in its current format. A caller from the Albuquerque campus was concerned the site would be directed, generally, toward undergraduate students and not for graduate programs. Powers said the focus of the site, just like the institution, will put all students first.
After a message from Geneva came through asking if the new site would affect any of the international campuses’ domains, Powers said that in the initial phase, international campuses will keep their sites.