Lillian Vila Licht
After a year of planning, the Ursinus website is getting more updates. At the start of the 2018 Fall semester, a few new changes came to the website, such as alterations to the “Students” page and the reorganization of popular links. Since then, the website design team has been working on new updates, which were scheduled to launch on Oct. 8.
Last year, Erin Hovey, Manager of Digital Content, stated that it is common for colleges to overhaul their website design about every three years. For this update, Hovey and Tom Yencho, Chief Communications Officer, led a team of 150 editors assigned to each department across campus. Each editor had specific responsibilities. Hovey explains, “It’s a coordination of all these editors and to get this whole beast of a website all together because it is about 3,000 pages and just making sure everyone’s doing their part getting ready for the launch.”
The new website interface is not just about appearance, but also immersion. The crew in charge of updating the website has worked to make the site more interactive and engaging, with high quality videos and expansive drone shots.
Yencho explains that the primary audience of the Ursinus website is undergraduate prospective students. “Our called actions are for the prospective students — the audiences are for them to request information, to visit Ursinus, and ultimately apply, and so you’ll see those very obviously emphasized throughout the entire site,” Yencho said. Hovey states, “We want to make sure we’re showing place first. We know that’s the first question.” This has led to the team adding an interactive map on the website that shows details down to the campus’ statues and Adirondack chairs.
In addition, Ursinus’ recreational sports, alumni, research, scholarships, and unique story have been more thoroughly highlighted on the website. “It’s more of a garden and less of a painting so we continue to water it [and watch it] grow,” Hovey explained. “It’s not like once it goes up we’re all done with it, so that’s also exciting because I feel like it can continue to be more for the campus than it is right now.” Ursinus’ digital presence will continue to change and grow. Stay tuned for a new Ursinus app that will be announced in the coming weeks.
According to an email sent out on Oct. 7 by Yencho and Shannon Zottola, Vice President and Dean of Enrollment Management, there will be a “launch party” for the new website on Oct. 17 in the Bears’ Den. All are invited to attend.