IONA

Website Redesign Showcases Achievement

10/15/2013
Iona College has undertaken major renovations to the college’s website that aim to make the user experience easier and to show prospective students the opportunities they will have at Iona.
The new website, which goes live Oct. 5, places an emphasis on photos and videos.
These media spotlight current students, alumni and faculty, showcasing what they love about Iona and the opportunities they are given through their education.

One of these features spotlights recent graduate Kirsten Knott, who received an internship at 1-800-FLOWERS.
The video explains why she switched majors and how involvement in clubs on campus helped her receive her internship.
The website redesign is tied into the college’s re-branding and the tag line “Move The World.”
“The website is the virtual front gate of the college. It’s a student’s first impression of the college. The new platform gives the outside world a chance to share the excitement and energy of our campus community,” said Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer Joanne Steele.

One of the key changes to the website is the “mega menu.” This menu features every possible link the user would need to navigate the site.
Instead of selecting one menu that brings the user to another menu of choices, the “mega menu” combines all of the menus into just a few tabs and alleviates the long search for the link the user would need.
The Room Reservation System also received an upgrade. Now when a member of Student Life goes to promote and reserve a room for an event, a list of available rooms on campus will show up. This helps avoid double-booking rooms.

The new website will be smart phone and tablet ready, meaning that every feature available on a desktop or laptop will be compatible with a mobile device.
This includes the new scrolling feature. Instead of clicking on different tabs to preview different menus, the user can just scroll up and down the page until the menu they need shows up.
“Clicking on menus is a thing of the past,” Steele said.
Each audience will now have its own home page to serve their needs.
These audiences not only include students, alumni, and faculty, but also friends and families of students and faculty, as well as prospective students.
Completing the website took one year. Many helped to create the site, including the Committee on Technology and Computing Services, eight members of the project team, and an external advertising agency called CollegeNET.
Those involved in the creation conducted focus groups, student interviews, and external market research in order to make the website as easy to use as possible and promote the new logo and the “Move the World” tag line.
“It began with significant quantitative and qualitative market research. During this part of the project, we explored who we are [as a college,]” Steele said.

One of the focus groups were prospective students touring the campus. Two screenshots of different Iona websites would be shown, and the group would decide which website they liked best.
Through this process, the committee was able to gather information on which website would be most eye-catching to prospective students and families.
If you have any suggestions on how the website can be improved once it goes live or you would like your Iona story to be featured on the webpage, please email Joanne Steele at jsteele@iona.edu.