So what’s new?

Well, the students are back and the fall semester is well underway. As usual we had a very busy and productive summer working on a range of projects – though it always seems summer is never long enough to get everything done!

Here’s a recap of what Web Communications produced from May – August 2012:

Financial Aid website

In March, work began on a new Financial Aid website that aimed to significantly reduce the number of web pages needed in order to simplify navigation, increase usability, and more effectively communicate important messages. As part of this website, another new microsite was created for incoming first year students detailing the steps to take for financial aid awards and payment arrangements. The new Financial Aid website was launched at the end of May.

Career Services website

We felt a redesign of the Career Services website would help the Career Services office serve students preparing to enter the job market or transition to graduate school. The website was completely redesigned and restructured to better organize the large amount of content and resources available for students on the old website. The new website also aims to serve alumni and employers better by highlighting the resources available for each of these audiences.

After only six weeks of collecting data on website traffic patterns, the results are extremely encouraging. Compared to the previous year, engagement is up 60 percent – total page views, average views per visitor and visit duration have all significantly increased. This indicates that visitors are consuming more of the website’s content than before, and will hopefully return more often to benefit from what the Career Services office provides.

New Student Orientation website

Work began on a new NSO website in May and was completed within two weeks. The design and branding was updated to match our current standards, and clearer navigation was developed for first year students, transfer students, and families. Photo slideshows were added to visually showcase Orientation, and a web-based checklist was developed to illustrate what steps students and families need to take before arriving on campus. Web Communications also assisted the NSO team with training and best practices for social media communication.

Hall of Fame Interactive Kiosk in GSFC

An Athletics Hall of Fame interactive kiosk was installed in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center in July. Visitors to the Hall of Fame will be able to browse bios and photos of all inductees. Because the kiosk is powered by the Cal Lutheran website and can be easily updated as needed, future additions to content and functionality are being planned. Shout out to Scott Smith for his great work on this project.

Parents & Families website

Many offices around campus have a need to communicate with parents and families. The Alumni Association website had a dedicated section for parents, but it was hard to find and limited in scope. Most of the relevant information was in a PDF of the Parent Handbook, a publication mailed to parents every August. In order to save paper and printing costs, as well as send out timely and updated information, a web version of the Parent Handbook was developed and launched in August. This brand new website aims to give parents the info they need as their student progresses through life at Cal Lutheran.

Social Media highlights:

  • The official Cal Lutheran Facebook page recently surpassed 5,000 fans and continues to grow rapidly through viral sharing of content and ad placements within Facebook.
  • Photos of Commencement posted to Facebook reached over 16,000 people. Sharing event photos continues to provide us with high levels of engagement as students and alumni tag, comment, and share photos with friends.
  • A single photo of the demolition of the SUB reached over 14,000 people and received over 100 comments of alumni sharing memories.
  • A Twitter campaign was launched in coordination with Admitted Student Day in April. Dubbed “I am CLU”, we asked alumni to tell us why they love Cal Lutheran. We received over 40 responses from alumni around the country that were displayed on screen during the event. New responses continue to be shared with incoming students via online channels.

What’s next?

We have a lot coming up – including new websites for the Alumni Association and Human Resources, a potential replacement for Adobe Contribute, and a number of other ideas related to mobile web support and technology infrastructure to meet the realities of a world where people access the web from many kinds of devices.

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