By Sarah Rich
Visitors to goshen.edu discovered a more colorful, image-oriented Web site last Wednesday, April 30. as Public Relations just launched the redesign of the Goshen College home page.
Since last fall, Public Relations has been working with Mindpower, Goshen’s branding agency, to design this new site. The last design of the Goshen site happened in 2009 to incorporate the new Peace by Peace branding.
In the latest redesign, Public Relations aimed to include larger photos, more stories of students, condensed navigation and a constant tool bar at the bottom of the pages.
“There’s a story we want to tell with the Web site,” said Jodi Beyeler, assistant director of Public Relations, “and that’s of students and their stories.”
They also added a “What’s New” section to the home page to keep visitors up to date on campus events. Links for prospective students are also more easily available in this new design; the Web site, after all, is often prospective students’ first entrance to the college.
“I don’t think we had a bad design before,” said Isaiah Goertz, Goshen’s Web designer, “but I think this really brings a perspective to student-centered focus and I think that’s important as we try to increase enrollment.”
The new site retains a dedication to revealing Goshen’s institutional identity. The pictures that it rotates between on the home page tell stories of first-generation college students, students serving in Peru, students involved in the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning—all subtle iterations of Goshen’s Peace by Peace brand.
“A Web site is this interesting combination of getting people what they’re looking for, but also revealing who you are more deeply,” said Beyeler.
The process of designing this site involved transferring the material from the content-management system Caravel—which the college used before—into the new system, WordPress, which standardizes the style on each page. Public Relations hasn’t transferred all of the material yet; the On Campus page, for instance, is still using the old template. But they will continue to work on this perpetually-changing site.
“I hope by the end of the summer we’ll have 90 percent of the site in WordPress,” said Goertz.
Public Relations has already received some feedback from faculty, students and alumni on the new design, and they are open to more suggestions.
“The way we view the Web site is, it’s never done,” said Beyeler. “And because it’s never done, we continue to work on it. That’s just the nature of the Web.”