Main Web site may be reconstructed by October

Junior Ashley Hennessy discusses her dislikes about the University’s Web page during Tuesday’s focus group session. Student input will help change the site.By Suzie Chu

The Rider Web site will soon be undergoing changes and students gave their input on what they’d like to see for next year.

On Feb. 27, students gathered at the focus group feedback session for the Rider University Web site in Memorial Hall. The 27 students who attended complained about the lack of professor information, searching and the difficulties of navigating the site.

“I feel as if the Rider Web site should look at Temple’s Web site,” said freshman Keshia Maughn. “They have this feature where you can look something up, and once you get to the page and read the information at the bottom it will tell you, ‘Is this what you need? Do you need more information?’ and it will have a list of pages you can go to that will give you more relevant information.”

There were many suggestions for the new Web site that should be launched by October, according to Director of Enrollment Planning, Reporting and Internet Projects Jennifer Cafiero.

“Web sites in general have a life for a certain length of time,” said Cafiero. “That length is three years. This Web site will be three in October, so the hope is by [the time] October comes around we will be replacing it with something new.”

Junior Casey Creutz said he believes the home page has too much going on and does not like the musical introductions but wants to keep certain things the same.

“I do like the shortcuts at the top so I don’t want [the University] to eliminate them when they’re making changes to the Web site,” said Creutz.

Another suggestion made was the lack of content on the Web site. Some believed prospective students would not be able to get an accurate feel for Rider from visiting the site.

In terms of appearance, the focus group mentioned the need for more pictures showing the changes at Rider, different text and colors and a new layout. The students who attended claimed they would like to see a “real virtual tour,” the bringing back of the interactive room designer and information on weekend activities.

“For people who stay on the weekends, they need to know what’s going on,” said Maughn. “I have friends from out-of-state who can’t go home all the time; they want to know what to do.”

Others believe that the Rider Web site needs to include the Bronc mascot and the tree to identify Rider and show how different Rider is from other universities.

After hearing from the students, Cafiero will take their suggestions into consideration when changing the Web site.

“We’re expecting bits and pieces to change here and there during the summer,” said Cafiero. “There will be little changes as we go forward that will
accumulate to something bigger.”

There will be more focus group sessions for students to attend on Monday, March 5 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Martin Room (Princeton campus); on March 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.min Memorial Hall 304.; and 5 to 6:30 p.m. also in 304. If interested in participating, e-mail Cafiero at jcafiero@rider.edu.

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