Thanks to the Office of Communication & Marketing, the new Guilford College website allows users to click less to get more.
“The old website had almost 700 pages,” said Donna Rasmussen ‘04, digital communications coordinator. “How are you going to find anything if there’s information in that many different places?”
Leading the way in these website changes with Rasmussen were Senior Director of Communications and Marketing Angela Reiter and Digital Marketing Specialist Mike Shaw.
New features include responsive design allowing for website access on phones and tablets, and an expanded home page, encouraging users to scroll through the panels to discover information about Guilford.
“I think the new website has a very good visual appeal that speaks well to the Guilford community,” said Assistant Professor of Business Mini Ranganathan in an email interview. “It has nicely captured who we are and what we do.”
The new mash-up page, #WEAREGUILFORD, features student work and videos. Social media is prevalent with Facebook and Twitter feeds displayed throughout the site. A new calendar feature will allow users to subscribe to events and receive event notifications.
Updates to the website were made primarily with prospective students in mind.
“The main goal was to appeal to prospective students and make the information easily accessible to them,” said Rasmussen.
“It’s clear to me that Guilford intended to create a site that is more visually appealing … and makes information about the school more accessible to prospective students,” said Rebecca Sutton ’12 in an email interview.
With this focus on attracting new students, some current students felt left out of the process.
“I think it’s pretty, so if I was a prospective student, I would think it’s visually stimulating, but as a current student, I don’t think it’s easily navigable,” said senior Dallas Kesler. “It feels more like a brochure than a functioning website.”
Many were also disgruntled that initially the links to course schedules, BannerWeb and GuilfordNet were difficult to find or rerouted to the site’s home page.
“The problems with the course schedule have been very inconvenient from an advising standpoint,” said Assistant Professor of Business Richard Schilhavy in an email interview. “I rely heavily on the course schedule to know what classes are available, if they are full, etc.”
As the Guilford community navigates the new website, all are encouraged to approach the website changes with an open mind and provide any criticism to the Office of Communication & Marketing.
“We’re not just updating for the sake of updating,” said Shaw. “We’re doing it because that’s what students expect, what incoming freshman want. Our goal is to improve the college’s profile and raise enrollment.”