On March 30, Albion College launched a new, updated version of Albion.edu. The new version of the website has a sleek modern look, a more accessible search bar and page links.
Susie Pentelow, senior director for strategic and digital communications and Kelly Finn, chief of staff, were two of the main minds behind the website change.
“The design of the old site dates back to March 2013. Typically, an institution undertakes a full website redesign every four-five years,” said Pentelow and Finn, via email. “So, we’re overdue for an upgrade.”
The process began in the summer of 2020 with a search for the right website vendor. They hosted “discovery sessions with students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees and community members” to learn what aspects of the website were most important.
They received a lot of feedback from the discovery sessions, some of which consisted of the need for a contemporary design, more images and videos, better navigation and an area for current students and their resources.
They chose the final design of the website after testing two looks in a series of focus groups and combining the successful aspects of each one.
The need for a better web presence due to COVID-19 was a huge factor in the timing of the launch. Despite this, the week of the launch, being advising week, presented some issues.
By adding redirect links that connect the new site to the old one, the team was able to alleviate some of the concerns and challenges for students.
They provided a feedback form for students to express any concerns they have with the website.
“Any website transition will present challenges. We are working through those in real-time and responding to requests that come in,” said Pentelow and Finn.
The hope is to have the new website changes completed by May.