by: Jessica Cerda
Students and faculty were greeted to a new homepage on the Benedictine website on Wednesday, February 5th. The offices of Information Technology and Marketing and Communications department rolled out the new webpage, which has been in the works for over a year. The BenU webpage was last changed in late 2010.
At the beginning of the fall semester, students began to see a few changes with the new account login page. Now, a new feature of the webpage is a modern header that will make it easier to navigate through key sections of the website. At the top of the webpage is a “utility navigation menu.” This feature allows users to switch between different branch campuses, find commonly used pages, and contains a search box.
Another addition is a large visual focus of the main home page. BenU’s top feature stories are displayed on the “home page carousel.”
One of the most noticeable changes is a new mobile-friendly design. Kevin Sherman, Webmaster at Benedictine, maintains the campus website.
“A big importance was to make the new webpage mobile friendly. We wanted to create a webpage that can adapt to all types of devices like phones and tablets. Another key part was to create a platform to tell the important events that are going on around campus,” explained Sherman.
The web support team is still continuing to make small changes, and the homepage design is not set in stone. Sherman says it took him 17 to 18 times to finally decide on the homepage that students and faculty see today. Sherman also said that they use an iterative design, meaning constant changes and refinements are being made to the webpage.
“We get input and advice and look for ways to tweak it. We’re always wanting to build and improve the webpage,” said Sherman.
One day, after the launch of the new webpage, Sherman received about 15 emails all with overall positive feedback.
“I like it. It’s going to take some getting used to though,” said Anna Bosek a junior at BenU.
“It’s very modern in a good way. I like how it’s structured, it’s easy to navigate,” said graduate student Afrah Hussain.
Rachel Schultz, Web Content and Social Media Coordinator and a Benedictine alumnus, worked with Sherman to create all of the wording and visual elements that are seen on BenU’s webpage.
“I really like working with all the people here. It feels like one big community,” said Schultz.
Other changes that users can expect to see is a re-vamped admissions section to help perspective students navigate through. Sherman also added that along the road, he would like to change the BenU catalog so it is no longer a PDF.
Anyone with suggestions on what they would like to see on the new webpage is welcomed to email Kevin Sherman at firstname.lastname@example.org