Student Focus Group 12/4/2008

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Revision as of 13:02, 12 December 2008 by Kristen Byers (talk | contribs) (New page: ==Lynn intro== * What do students want the website to look like? * Current website is acting as a "brochure" * How can we make it more useful? ==What do you like about the MIIS website?==...)
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Lynn intro

  • What do students want the website to look like?
  • Current website is acting as a "brochure"
  • How can we make it more useful?

What do you like about the MIIS website?

  • Looks professional, colorful, clear images, easy to navigate
  • Like new Flash opening page = very modern & appealing
  • Lots of sites use too much Flash, the MIIS website has a good balance
  • Image & branding at the top of the page

What do you use the website for?

  • Use faculty-related items such as timesheets, checking program highlights, events (also use FirstClass for events)
  • While applying, admissions and financial aid sections before applying, professor bios, course descriptions, schedules
  • Library stuff, looking up a professor's email, BannerWeb

Website items that influenced application decision

  • MPA description
  • DPMI
  • Site gave enough information to then call professors and ask additional questions

What don't you like?

  • BannerWeb link at the bottom
  • Search engine -- always search through Google because it is more efficient
  • 5 sitemaps ("There are other websites?")

Blogs?

  • Student services, library, etc. all have blogs
  • "Who reads them?" "I've never read them"
  • Maybe one giant RSS feed on the main page that can be divided into separate categories and used how each reader sees fit

Items to consider in redesign

  • More focus on where alumni end up, PERSONAL STORIES presented in a creative way
  • Career Development section
    • Other universities like Columbia and Johns Hopkins have much better career development programs
  • Outside rankings, articles, press backing up the reputability of the Institute
    • Two types of students: those who focus on the rankings and those who focus on program content
  • Make sure look & feel of website is consistent department to department
  • Common event calendar that does not reside in FirstClass
  • More complete and interactive -- showcase iTunes U presence, etc.
  • Need to create a centralized system rather than sending people to Moodle for certain items, First Class for others, etc.
  • Student portal, alumni portal. maybe make it so students HAVE to visit the portal and will then be exposed to other cool things (like blogs)
  • Library website -- JSTOR is separate from other research databases, navigation is confusing
  • Disconnect: after one year, student email is gone

Audience

  • Lots of schools have different portions of the site for prospective students vs. current students
  • Student portal would be nice, place that combines papercut account link/Moodle/library
  • Cater to prospective students
  • Each school could have a different face

Navigation

  • Like consistent navigation, use of breadcrumbs to indicate where you are within a site

Websites we like

  • vassar.edu
  • beloit.edu
  • insidecolby.com
  • iGoogle