University redesigns website to reflect new student body

A complete redesign of the University’s website is currently underway. The new website aims to include new interactive features such as an Instagram photo wall where students can add their stories to the combined history of Puget Sound.

“About every four years, we refresh the Puget Sound website, which allows us to take advantage of current trends in communications and technology in order to best convey what Puget Sound is all about to our primary site visitors—prospective students and their families,” Assistant Director of Communications Sarah Stall said.

The page’s URL will remain the same, but much of the content will be changed. There are new and updated pages for Collins Memorial Library, the Slater Museum of Natural History and admissions information, to name a few.

“One key element of our new site is a fully responsive design that will automatically detect the kind of device you’re using—mobile, tablet, or desktop—and adjust the site layout and features accordingly,” Stall said. “Other new features include more opportunities to show student work through blogs and student photography, embedded videos, an Instagram photo wall on the home page, and more.”

“We are particularly excited about implementing a design that will be responsive across multiple platforms and browsers, and that features more user-generated content, such as student photography, videos, and blogs,” Executive Director of Communications Gayle McIntosh said.

The redesign is “a highly collaborative and consultative process” that uses resources and consultation across many departments within the University, according to McIntosh.

The Admissions and Student Financial Services pages see the most traffic on the website.

“The largest audience for the home page is prospective students and their families,” McIntosh said.

From November 2012 to October 2013 the Puget Sound website has had 2,483,970 visits from 995,960 people.

One of the problems senior Sam Mandry has faced with the website has been finding health and safety resources.

“There are resources available on the website that you can’t access, especially concerning marginalized populations and power-based [dynamics],” Mandry said.

“The intentions behind the redesign are to create a site that is interesting and engaging in the way that it tells the Puget Sound story,” McIntosh said.

The Communications department wants to have students share photos via Instagram.

“Tag us in your photos of campus,  campus events, club activities, performances, classes, and anything else that shows what life is like as a Logger. If a photo is tagged @univpugetsound (the university’s Instagram account) or #universityofpugetsound, we may repost it or select it for inclusion on the home page photo wall, crediting you as the original source. We want to see Puget Sound through your eyes!” Stall said.

Since each year there is a new wave of Puget Sound students who come with new experiences, perspectives and needs, the website will continue to grow and change.

Whether they are technological, social or otherwise, the changes will reflect the various generations of Loggers and students to come.