Troy University on Feb. 15, unveiled its newly redesigned Website, making information more easily accessible to prospective and current students and others and including several new features.
The redesign of the site (www.troy.edu) has been an ongoing project over the last two years and involved the input of more than 35 members of the University’s staff and administration. At least 14 Information Technology (IT) personnel have been responsible for moving the majority of content into the new design and approximately 25 University staff members were directly involved in the update process.
Dr. John Schmidt, senior vice chancellor for advancement and external relations, said the collaborative effort has yielded a major improvement for the University.
“The Web provides our best and biggest opportunities to share Troy University with the world,” Dr. Schmidt said. “It is vitally important that we continue to put our best foot forward worldwide through our Web presence and I believe in this redesign process we have done just that. Members of our IT team and all those involved in this redesign have gone to great strides to ensure that the Troy University story is presented in an easily accessible and informative way. We greatly appreciate the effort of all those involved have put into this project.”
Chief Technology Officer Greg Price said providing easy access to information was one of the primary goals of the redesign.
“The major design changes allow significant focus on prospective and existing students,” Price said. “Since troy.edu is our primary marketing tool, we realized that we needed to update the homepage to provide easy access to the information those audiences would be looking for.”
Price said the redesign process took into account how visitors were accessing the site.
“The redesigned site features improved loading times, especially for end-users with low speed internet service,” Price said.. “The elements and total content size have been reduced.”
Among the new features offered through the site are the inclusion of social media links for Troy University, improved navigation, enhanced SOS emergency notification information and video capabilities. The site is also mobile enhanced for better accessibility on mobile, hand-held devices.
In addition to the new features offered through the redesign, Price said the site will further enhance the single Troy University presence.
“We will eliminate all ad-hoc servers and consolidate efforts to a series of core, homogenous technologies,” Price said. “In doing so, not only do we foster a more intuitive Web model, but we are also able to devote more staff time for content management of the site rather than systems’ management.”
Another feature of the redesigned site is the use of Active Admissions, a tool for recruiting new students.
The use of Active Admissions will enhance the University’s ability to serve prospective students and applicants, according to Buddy Starling, dean of enrollment management.
“I believe that with the implementation of Active Admissions it will truly revolutionize the way we do business in enrollment management,” Starling said. “It allows us to operate with a greater level of efficiency and to be more responsive to both prospects and applicants. We are entering a higher competitive arena with the implementation of this technology.”
Telling the TROY story
The new Web redesign does more than just provide information in a more user-friendly fashion.
The new Web site design will allow for new and exciting ways in which to share the TROY story worldwide.
“We have seen an increase in visits to our troy.edu home page since October of 2007 which had 926,806 visits that month to October of 2009 with 1,039,579 visits,” said Sandi Gouge, associate vice chancellor of marketing and communication. “We all recognize that TROY’s Web presence is very important and a powerful tool to connect, listen and engage with our key stakeholders.”
Gouge said the redesign will enable the University to basically have its own media site in which it can highlight the activities of its campuses and sites worldwide and showcase the achievements of students, alumni, faculty and staff.
“Our redesigned site will help us to tell the TROY story in new ways and we are excited to be able to provide our constituencies with the latest news and information from the University and its students, faculty and staff.”
Ellis is a university relations coordinator and editor of the Troy University Magazine.