Website homepage gets cosmetic facelift

Hannah Schultz, Staff Writer

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A new UW-W website went live last week with new pages and visuals focused on answering questions of prospective students.
“The previous website didn’t project to prospective students,” said Web Coordinater Christa Vrabel, who worked with the Marketing and Communication Department on the update.

Major changes include a more visually engaging experience and a greater focus on new student recruitment. Top landing pages were updated for user ease as well.

A quarter of prospective students may decide not to apply due to a bad experience with the website, Vrabel said. Therefore, it was important to make changes that made the site more user-friendly for juniors and seniors in high school.

“One negative experience is equal to 12 positive experiences to break even from that bad experience,” said Vrabel.

A quarter of prospective students may decide not to apply due to a bad experience with the website, Vrabel said. Therefore, it was important to make changes that made the site more user-friendly for juniors and seniors in high school.
“One negative experience is equal to 12 positive experiences to break even from that bad experience,” said Vrabel.

The new pages include “Warhawk Life,” “Parent and Family Resources” and “Student Resources.”

“Warhawk Life” is geared toward prospective students. The page gives a sense of campus life, including how to get involved, sports and fitness opportunities, where to eat and their respective locations, as well as resources for student success.

The “Parent and Family Resources” page is designed to help families feel more connected to the campus and their students. This page includes emergency contact information, housing, dining and parking information.

“Student Resources” helps current students find the information and tools needed for success at UW-Whitewater. This page includes easier access to scholarship information, the HawkCard and Hawk Jobs.

“For all of these pages, we plan to continue to update and work with student groups to improve,” said Vrabel. “And we will move forward with a number of next steps…”

Eighty percent of prospective students indicate that their number one source of information learned about a school comes from the university’s website, according to Vrabel.

Future updates will include improvements to the top bar navigation, a “Request More Info” button, consolidation of the majors and minors page, an individual programs list and ongoing improvements using analytics and feedback.

“The [website] isn’t updated as much as it should be,” said Vrabel. “Probably every 2-3 years we rethink the design.”

Vrabel estimates, however, that the rest of the school year will include many changes and updates to ensure a positive experience for prospective students, and an enhanced experience for current ones.