By: David Jacob
Out with the old and in with the new. Quincy University is launching their new website on December 1st. The process began in the fall semester of 2014 when a group of students were selected to go down to St. Louis and voice their ideas to website design company Matchbox Design Group.
After multiple meetings and effective feedback, Matchbox Design Group started to build the format of what the site was going to look like. They designed the template and handed it over to QU to fill in the information.
Junior Nick Genova said, “It is about time we did something about the website. It’s outdated, too wordy and very bland looking.”
Heidi Meyer, director of Marketing and Communication at QU, is the mastermind behind the whole project.
“I came to Quincy University two and a half years ago and one of my main goals from the start was to change the usability of the website,” said Meyer. “I wanted to create a website that was user friendly for the internal audience as well as students coming to QU.”
The new website meshes together two different kinds of worlds. The old site would talk to both current students and a perspective audience, but it was so cluttered that it was confusing to everyone. The new website is catered for both types of students in a much simpler format that is easy to access. A perspective student is looking for academic areas of interest, financial aid as well as affordability and this site breaks it down for them much easier.
This new version of the website will have more pictures, videos, and simpler content to appeal to the eye. Unlike the old website, this new one will have up-to-date information so students will be able to use it more often so they know what is going on around campus. The content will be more editorial written and not lengthy unlike the old site. Another cool feature incorporates social media. If a student tags Quincy University in a photo on Instagram, that picture will immediately be uploaded to the website.
“Something we decided to do was not data dump. This means that we did not take the information from the old website and use it for the new site,” said Meyer. “The majority of the content on the new site is updated information with pictures and videos of students that actually go here now.”
A major problem with the old site was that it was not search engine optimization (SEO) compatible. This means if someone from Florida wanted to look for a school with a good aviation program, QU would not pop up on search engines from farther distances. The new website is SEO friendly and puts QU on the map.
“I feel like people are going to find out it is a lot more user friendly than our old site was,” said Meyer.
The new site has many new features including a search box that is useful to anyone, including parents. In the academic program, there is a box after each class listing with a professors’ email so a student or incoming student can interact with that professor. There are also recommendations from internal students and alumni, as well as statistics and social media interaction.
A process like this usually takes eighteen months to complete. Meyer and her team were able to accomplish this in twelve months. The launch date is set for December 1st and there will be still a few bugs to fix, but by the second week of January, Meyer says she will feel comfortable where they will be at just in time for second semester to begin.