By: Daniela Cespedes
Sacred Heart University launched a new design for their website on Jan. 15 focusing on accessibility and a user-friendly design.
Nancy Boudreau, Executive Director of Web Content Management said, “It had been seven years since the last website redesign, so the site looked dated and didn’t capture the vibrancy and spirit of who Sacred Heart is today. The site not only had to look great, but it also had to be easy to navigate, and include a responsive design so it works well on a smart phone, tablet or laptop, and be accessible for users with disabilities.”
Students were made aware of the new changes via email as soon as the new website was launched.
“I like that they’re using more pictures, it was the first thing I noticed. I like how it’s split into undergraduate and graduate sections so that when kids are looking at the website, they can tell what Sacred Heart has to offer,” said junior Zak Kakos.
As a student athlete, Kakos also comments on the effectiveness of the site for him.
“It’s easier to get to the athletics page. In the old website, the athletics page felt hidden,” said Kakos.
The web design team wanted to create a new slide-out menu with easy-to-find categories. These included resources for students, parents, veterans, alumni, community and employees.
“The entire project took over a year to complete,” says Boudreau.
Within Sacred Heart, 42 members from all areas of the university, along with the Web Redesign Committee, students, faculty and staff focus groups made the new site possible.
Students say that they mostly use the site to access the school’s calendar, library, student accounts, athletics page and Blackboard.
Freshmen Kailee Welch said, “I use the website every day, I do it to get to Blackboard. I also look at the athletic page, for my schedule and other sports’ schedules.”
However, multiple students expressed their frustration with accessing some links on the new website.
“I had to press 3 different things to find where I needed to go, and that link didn’t work. I was looking up the schedule for fitness classes, and it brought me to the employee fitness schedule,” said junior Ally Criscuolo.
However, some students find the new site more modern than the previous one.
“I think its style is modern and slick, its artistic and futuristic, but the things that they implemented from the old website are blurry,” said Criscuolo.
Another student also comments on issues she ran into while navigating through the website when it first launched.
“I tried accessing Blackboard and it didn’t pop up. Also, when I tried the bookstore link to go to the online store it wouldn’t work,” said Welch.
Boudreau explains that the site is never really finished and is constantly evolving.
The team welcomes any feedback and suggestions which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.