By: Laura Gasvoda
After almost a year of work on software and design issues, ACU’s new website appeared Friday, Aug. 20.
Scott Kilmer, director of Online Marketing, said a site can take from 18-20 months to complete, but ACU took just nine months.
Placement of the site’s menus and many other features were based on site traffic, Kilmer said. Many focus groups were used as well, including groups of high school seniors from Abilene. Professors Nil Santana and Mike Wiggins of the Art and Design Department contributed to the design. Carmen Foster continues to work on the software as Web Content Manager.
Kilmer said the goal of the redesign was functionality.
“We are passionate about the aesthetics, but our main goal was making sure our Web is useful,” Kilmer said.
Not only will the new website be more useful, but Kilmer said it will also be more interactive.
“We will soon be incorporating polls and the ability to comment on stories. Live streaming will also become more accessible, and has already been utilized with the streaming of President Phil Schubert’s inauguration, which over 1,100 people worldwide watched live Monday from ACU’s website,” Kilmer said.
Hunter Hettich, sophomore management major from Abilene; Leah Robbins, freshman education major from Abilene; and Seth Poplaski, senior information technology major from Pittsfield, Mass., also worked on the site.
“I have learned more about Web design during this process than I have in any classroom setting. It allowed me to see how a large website is maintained in the real world,” Poplaski said. “The only con would be there is always a learning curve with anything new.”
Nathan Lloyd, freshman major from Austin is enthusiastic about the changes.
“I think the new design makes the site easier to use,” Lloyd said.
While upperclassmen will have to adjust to the new layout, many freshman and prospective students may find the changes make the site easier to navigate.
The new site is a good example of ACU’s commitment to be exceptional, innovative, and real, Poplaski said.
“We wanted to affirm that ACU is on the cutting edge of technology,” Poplaski said. “We wanted to provide an exciting experience for users while keeping it easy to use.”