Sep 10, 2013
By Colleen Kiphart
The past few years have been a time of change and growth for The Patton College of Education. The latest change is the college's refreshed and renovated website which was launched this summer.
"Our college is an international and intergenerational community," said Dean of The Patton College Renée Middleton. "The Patton College's website has served as a resource for everyone from high school students interested in joining our family to world-renowned faculty members to alumni looking to reconnect with OHIO for the first time in years. I'm glad that our website's new design makes it easier for our audiences to find the specific information they need and to see what is new in our college."
The website refresh has been in the works for some approximately 18 months through collaboration between the college, the Office of Information Technology (OIT), and Electronic Vision. Director of Online Programs and the Curriculum and Technology Center Beth Backes has spearheaded the efforts.
Visitors to the website will note that it boasts a new color scheme that is more consistent with other Ohio University websites. However, the website functions as well as it looks.
"We're very happy that the new website is mobile-friendly," Backes said. "We have new navigation panels and more interactive pictures. We also have social media links throughout the site. We're very excited about all of the updates and changes."
The process of developing the website included extensive research into users' experiences and needs. The new design responds to the needs of visitors in ways that the prior iteration could not.
"We had been watching our website's analytics for some time and saw that our mobile users were spending less time on the website. They were clicking through fewer pages than visitors using laptop and desktop devices," explained Backes. "We realized that our website presented some challenges to mobile visitors. At the same time, we were seeing our mobile visitors numbers drastically increase. These developments made it clear that we needed to invest in optimizing our website for mobile device and tablet users."
The website's soft launch was over the summer, but the college will continue to adjust and improve the website throughout the fall semester. The Patton College and OIT will continue to track user analytics to ensure that the new design is meeting visitors' needs. Improving the user experience on the college's website is an ongoing project and one that the college is committed to addressing.
"I am so pleased with how our new website turned out," said Middleton. "I know our students, faculty, staff, alumni and potential students will be just as thrilled with it as we have been."