New Adams State website goes "live"

(01-12-2012)

Friday the thirteenth is an auspicious day this month, as Adams State launches its new and improved website (adams.edu).

The college's Communications staff has been working for over a year to redesign and reorganize the site. The current design was established in 2004.

"Because prospective students overwhelming rely on websites to learn about colleges, the adams.edu site is a crucial recruitment tool," said Dr. Michael Mumper, senior vice president for enrollment management and program development. "Other site visitors - from alumni to legislators - will also find it easier to use."

The site features unique admission pages for graduate & distance education students, as well as undergraduates. Primary objectives for the redesign were to streamline site navigation and to incorporate more functionality, according to Director of Communications, Mark Schoenecker.

Consulting firm Noel-Levitz assisted the college in conducting user testing and graphic design. A study of users' responses to various options guided revisions to the site's organization and design, Schoenecker said. Prospective students were the primary subjects of the study. The site now features improved pathways to commonly accessed information and functions.

The new design is bolder, cleaner, and fills a larger portion of the computer screen, which permits showcasing of images. The homepage now has only two primary menus, instead of three, as well as specific links for prospective students to inquire, visit, or apply for admission. The dominate graphic on the homepage features rotating college highlights, as well as more prominent current news items.

"The new design is more image-centric. We are increasing the presence of videos on our site, and are revising key messages," Schoenecker added. "The redesign also gives us tighter integration with existing social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube. It will also prepare us to move the site to utilization by mobile devices. It's estimated that in 2012, more than 50% of broadband content will be delivered to mobile devices."

He said the bulk of the redesign and programming work was completed by Web Applications Developer Mike Henderson and Web Content specialist Jen Stoughton. Significant input and assistance was also proviced by Enrollment Management Project Manager Karla Hardesty, IT Professional Cameron Miller, Graphic Designer Amy Kucera, and work study students Lace King and Trâm Phạm.

By Julie Waechter