By Chris Barber, Staff Writer
Armstrong launched its updated website Sunday, Sept. 27, among increasing changes and demand for mobile compatibility in web design.
The $167,000 project was a collaboration between Armstrong’s Marketing Department and IT Services. They worked with an outside web development company to improve the site’s navigation, functionality and responsiveness for smartphone compatibility as well as user friendliness for students and staff.
The old website was six-years old and “in serious need of updating,” Armstrong’s web designer, Janice Stanford, said. “We wanted to make it easier for all of our target audiences to use the new site on any device, from desktop computers to iPhones.”
Aesthetics were also an important factor in this project:
“We decided to create a more modern, more visually appealing site that tells the Armstrong story through powerful images and compelling copy,” Stanford said.
The designers conducted focus groups of traditional and non-traditional students to determine the most-user friendly design elements for students, staff and content managers.
“The content was reduced by thirty percent and the 7,000 active pages [reduced] to 3,000. “It was important to create a more streamlined content management system for website content managers across campus.”
Some students, however, do not feel that the new website is as user friendly as its predecessor.
Armstrong student, Wesley Mullins, said, “The new website is a little confusing. It looks more modern, but I preferred the old, simpler style. The original site put all the options at the top but the new website makes you look around to find things.”
Some have mixed feelings about its looks compared to functionality.
“It feels fresh, although the home page is a little too tall. I would rather see links to the important information rather than scrolling for days to see what is there” Lee Hope said.
Students have also reported numerous bugs and broken links upon the new website’s launch.
Stanford replied, “There were some broken links on the site when it first launched but these issues are nearly all resolved. Overall, we are extremely pleased with the new site. Over the past year, we’ve collaborated to strategically design, develop and launch a new site that reflects Armstrong’s impressive commitment to student success.”