Noah Yantis –
On March 26, Illinois College officially released a new website, updating the one that had been active since 2010, according to Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing Stephanie Chipman.
This new website contains an updated calendar, quotes about being Graduate READY, and an improved layout that improves efficiency and appearance. A drop down bar is still available with sections titled “About Us”, “Academics”, “Admissions”, “Athletics”, “Campus Life”, and “Outcomes”. Each contains multiple other links for smooth navigation.
According to Vice President Chipman, the College began talks of redesigning in the summer of 2014, and formally began the design process of the website in November 2014. Chipman also commented that ideas formed were taken to student focus groups to increase student feedback in order to have the final design as a collection of student ideas.
An updated, well-kept website is a factor that plays in the decision of first-year students looking for their place of education.
A 2014 study by Noel-Levitz found that 70% of high school students and 50% of their parents view a college’s site on a mobile device. Using this data, the College allowed their design to be changed when viewed on different mobile devices to increase the appearance and effectiveness of the website.
The feedback about the website has been very positive according to Chipman. People off-campus, alumni, and current students have expressed positive feedback about the website and applaud its modern look that the older website did not have.
Connect2 was also updated and released on March 26 and included different options available such as the Campus Monitor slideshow, the weather, and a slick, modern look.
First-Year Brandon Young, a student worker for Information Technology, says, “The new website is definitely sleeker and better looking than the older version.”
Along with Connect2 and the new website, the athletic website has been updated to have newer look that allows viewers to find what they are looking for easily and quickly. In a growing digital age, it is important for colleges to be up to date on all platforms and sites.
On April 15, IC CIO Patrick Brown sent an email out to the campus community about helping to select an app company to develop a mobile app for IC on Apple and Android devices. The app companies were reviewed by a student group that was assembled via collaboration between IT and the Student Senate.
The group contained six Student Senators, two IT student workers, six computer science majors, and 12 other students.
Dub Labs, Modo Labs, and Oohlala are the three app companies that are being reviewed due to their performance at other schools such as Georgetown University and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
Brown’s email contains links to download the app and review its format and functions, and students are asked to give feedback about the apps they liked, why they liked them, and various other comments.
It is important to recognize the College’s effort to make the campus more accessible. A new website combined with a mobile app would not only increase efficiency, but it would also make the College more marketable.
Noah Yantis, from Arthur, Illinois, is a freshman majoring in History with a minor in Political Science and Communication and Rhetorical Studies. Noah is Treasurer of The Rambler and Public Relations Chairman of Student Senate.