Web Redesign More than Just a New Look
KEENE, N.H. 8/31/01 - Keene State’s web site, www.keene.edu, has been redesigned and was launched last Friday. But the changes to the web site are more than aesthetic. Visitors will now be able to find the information they’re looking for with significantly less effort.
“The web site has been redesigned to make it easier for visitors to go straight to the information they want,” says Bonnie Powers, KSC webmaster. “Our home page and other pages have a new look because doing so helped us to make navigating and updating the site easier.”
For the past six months, Bonnie, Nancy Haggarty, a graphic designer with the College Relations Office, in collaboration with the KSC Web Strategy Team have been testing and tweaking different navigation formats. This work was directed in part by suggestions collected from a campus-wide survey of web users during the spring semester and by researching systems used by other institutions. Their efforts have resulted in a format that strips away several layers of navigation found on the previous KSC web site.
KSC’s home page now sports nine links to “core” pages: About KSC, Academics, Admissions, Alumni, Athletics, Arts and Entertainment, News and Events, Offices and Policies, and Student Life. Clicking on any of these links will take the user straight to that section of the web site.
Also on the home page are four news and events icons. A click on any of these will take the visitor to the news release about that topic or event in the News and Events section. The visitor can then click on “More News” to go to a complete list of current news stories. Visitors can also view all known KSC events for the academic year by clicking the “All Events” link on any News and Events page, or they can select events by type (for example, Athletics or Arts). News and Events will be updated and refreshed several times a week.
Much of the redesign, says Nancy, is hidden behind the scenes. “A lot of what we’ve done won’t show in a graphic sense,” she explains. “But this web site will work a lot better than the one before.” The redesigned site makes more use of information stored in databases. The advantage, says Bonnie, is that information stored in databases can be quickly and easily changed or updated by departmental page editors. By using more text and fewer graphics, the site is also more compliant with American Disability Act requirements.
“The redesign will go hand-in-hand with new training for page editors across campus,” Bonnie says. “Soon we’ll publish a style guide that will help page editors update their web pages with more ease and consistency.”
Any comments or questions about the site can be e-mailed to the webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org.