If you can’t judge a book by its cover, can you judge a College by its Web site? Well, if the site is SUNY Potsdam’s completely redesigned pages, the judgment will likely be an astounding “Wow!”
One of the recent major campus enhancements was the total redesign of the SUNY Potsdam’s Web site, www.potsdam.edu.
“The new site gives an accurate portrayal of what the campus looks like, one of the first things about which a prospective student inquires,” said Director of Web Communications Mindy Thompson. “The site is also much easier to navigate and uses addressable URLs and clean templates.”
Planning for this significant undertaking began in April 2007 with focus groups and a usability study featuring current and prospective students, families of prospective students, faculty, staff and alumni that was conducted by Blue Bear President Stephen Brock, Class of 1976.
“This was a way to see what was working well in the old site and gave us the benefit of knowing what users would like to see in our new generation site,” noted Thompson.
Potsdam’s Web team enlisted the help of Baltimore design firm IDFive, which took the usability study and their own campus interviews to develop several design options to address the needs of the College’s many audiences. The Web team worked from IDFive’s initial designs to mold them into a look and feel that would fit the College.
“We hope the site will be a way of not only providing an important tool for our prospective students to learn more about Potsdam, but also be a way our current students, faculty, staff and local community can take advantage of all the opportunities SUNY Potsdam offers, from the climbing wall at the Leadership & Challenge Center to free concerts at Crane and everything in between,” said Deborah Dudley, director of marketing and communications.
The response from the campus community has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Users are generally very happy with the site and still continue to send positive feedback,” said Thompson. “Many comment about how it’s a work of art and something new that they’ve never seen before.”
Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to share their videos and photos of the campus and downtown Potsdam to keep the personality of the site authentic. You can submit your multimedia items to firstname.lastname@example.org.