SUU In View (Alumni Magazine - Fall 2003)
New Look To The SUU Web Page
As of June 2, 2003, there's a new website in the universe! SUU launched a new look and design of its website earlier this summer that's more engaging and informative. It's meant to better facilitate new students' discovery of SUU. At the beginning of the 2002-03 school year, the Website Advisory Council (WAC) was formed as a result of a charge from SUU President Bennion and Provost Harraf. Representatives from across campus were asked to undertake a thorough review of the University website and recommend policies and framework to meet specific parameters that could be regularly refreshed. WAC met a couple of hours each week for 10 months, including time spent with focus groups of high school students to determine the wants and needs of one of SUU's target audiences. Then, Jill Ormond Whitaker ('99 communication), SUU's Webmaster, went to work interpreting the WAC's recommendations into an exciting and effective design. "Our goals for an upgraded website covered a wide spectrum," Dean O'Driscoll ('83 communication and physical education), director of marketing and public relations and the WAC chair, says. "We had to incorporate branding, cohesiveness, navigability, and services for multiple audiences, all within a contemporary appearance." A spotlight theme runs throughout the site featuring profiles of SUU faculty and students.
Up front, the design is strongly geared toward the prospective student audience. Features like a Major and Career Finder allow college-students-to-be to pick an area of study and explore what classes and degrees are associated with it as well as what careers different majors can lead to. A Housing Finder helps surfers to see what housing, on and off campus, will be available at the time they want to attend SUU. A search can be conducted by such parameters as amenities desired, price, number of bedrooms, etc. "A very handy and state-of-the-art feature is the Cost Estimator," O'Driscoll explains, "in which students can prepare themselves financially by inputting information and having a budget statement produced outlining the estimated costs of living for each semester."
Finally, a particularly attractive feature is the Virtual Tour. "We know the best recruitment tool is to actually bring prospective students and parents onto our campus," O'Driscoll reveals. "But when that's not possible, we have the virtual tour online which shows panoramic views of the campus and details of buildings. Even if you can't get to campus, we still hope you'll visit through the virtual tour." Check out SUU's new SUUper website at www.suu.edu