Recently, Bridgewater State University launched its new website, and although it has caused
frustration for many students, the new website is more organized and user-friendly according to Director of Integrated Marketing and Communications, Eva Gaffney, and Vice President of Information Technology, Pat Cronin.
“Everything is newly formatted,” Gaffney said. “We added video components and included a lot more social media.”
The project for a new website got started over two years ago with planning, meetings, and discussions with users.
The website is now made of two parts. The intranet involves internal university business, while the extranet creates a relationship with the outside, including alumni, businesses, and parents.
“The original website was around for fifteen years,” Cronin said. “It was about 60,000 pages at one time. Before we launched the extranet, we had it down to about 20,000.”
The new website is newly organized, and is between 200 and 250 pages. It focuses more on the university’s external audience. The new website also uses a different kind of technology, so changes can easily be made.
With all the changes, there have been issues for students trying to adapt to the new website.
“The biggest issue people are facing is navigation,” Gaffney said. “Like any technology, you just have to keep working on it and make it work well for you.”
Even though Gaffney and Cronin believe the new website is better than the previous version, many students are unhappy with the change and find the new website hard to navigate.
“I have no idea how to find anything, like IT and teachers,” said sophomore Carley Taylor. “We’re not all computer savvy.”
Another student said it took him fifteen minutes to find his email.
“I don’t want to take the time to sit down and learn the new website, which could take hours,” said sophomore Seige Ferreira. “I like playing League of Legends, not looking for my email.”
Cronin added, “When you take the fifteen year way of operating and change it, there is going to be some angst and concern. I believe long term this is better for the university.”
Jennifer Christensen is a Comment news writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.