The Albion College website is undergoing major changes within the next month in order to prepare for the launch of a new website in March.
With all of the new changes coming to campus, college administration feels that it’s only appropriate that the college’s official website be updated to fit the needs of students, staff and faculty. This includes easier mobile access, streamlined navigation and Spanish translations for integral parts of the site.
“The underpinnings of the current site date back to March 2013. Typically, an institution undertakes a full website redesign every four-five years in order to maintain a streamlined, modern web presence that meets current best practices for usability and accessibility, so we’re overdue for an upgrade,” said Senior Director for Strategic and Digital Communications Susannah Pentelow, via email.
Pentelow is leading the project, which began last summer with a cross-campus committee that selected a new web vendor. From there, a series of discovery sessions took place in which students, staff, faculty, alumni, trustees and community members shared their opinions on what the new website should look like and include.
After the initial homepage design was finalized, a second round of discovery groups were held for students, staff and faculty to discuss the direction of the website’s design. Their feedback was built into the final concept.
A cross-campus survey posted in the Albion Today is also asking for feedback from the Albion College community. The survey asks participants to rank potential changes from extremely important to not important. Categories for improvement include streamlined navigation, mobile-first design and increased opportunities for storytelling. The survey will remain open until the end of February.
Right now, Pentelow and her team are working to generate new content and move existing content over to the new site.
“The next month or so will be very busy with generating and moving content, which is always time-consuming, but we’re excited to be nearing the point when we can share this project publicly,” Pentelow said via email.
While some content may remain the same, the overall experience will be significantly different.
“I feel like the website is very geared toward prospective students and I have to go through a rabbit hole to find certain documents. I feel like making it accessible for current students is important, like having quick links and stuff,” said Melissa Garcia, a junior from Venice, Ca.