In late 2010 and early 2011 I had the opportunity to completely redesign and build a new website for the WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism’s IMC program. The new site is a near complete departure from the old website, everything from the design, structure and content was scrutinized and fine tuned over a 6 month period. Because there was an existing website I was able and look at several years of analytics to see how people used the structure and information and restructure the site accordingly. I also performed many interviews and focus groups with staff and students on what they thought worked well and what could be done better.
The old site was very static with no changing content and no place to post and display program news and features so we know we wanted that to change. The IMC program has also made a push to be more involved in social networking so I made it a point to include more portholes into our social media assets. The site is built in Slate, the WVU content management system built on Ruby on Rails.
Some of the new features of the site are:
- a program news feed
- a “quick start” link box that is consistent throughout the site and contains links that drive potential students to the places they need to information about the program and how to apply.
- greater integration with IMC social media channels
- more opportunities to showcase news and features about current students and alumni
- more places to feature images and videos
- retooled and more intuitive navigation and site structure based on student and faculty feedback