Saint Michael's College launches new website
Visitors to the Saint Michael's College website will now find a whole new look, feel and environment when they arrive. As of Tuesday, May 30, a new design and navigational world opened on the site with rich media videos, slide shows, and photos, and a robust array of stories and information on Saint Michael's academic, social, athletic, service, and wilderness worlds. Most prominent, perhaps, on first encounter is the expansive, immersive feel of the site.
With websites as the primary marketing tool of colleges and universities today, Saint Michael's developed the site to reflect the strengths of the institution in a way that helps visitors get a strong sense of the college, even from afar.
Websites have become the primary bread-and-butter marketing tool for reaching distant audiences, especially future students and their parents. With changing demographics, Saint Michael's is focused in part on drawing students into New England, who may never have visited. The SMC site must tell the story of the authentic community, the intellectual life, and the embracing experience that is Saint Michael's College.
A people-focused site
Simply stating that Saint Michael's is a liberal arts residential Catholic college in Burlington, Vermont, does not tell the whole story. Because Saint Michael's is a community that cares about people, the site is people-focused with an array of profiles of faculty, staff and students, and photography that highlights the college’s superb location. The site showcases the people and places that define the institution.
At the same time, current students, faculty and staff must be able to find what they need on the site. It must serve the marketing, educational and business needs of the college.
Saint Michael's feature stories
Seven major subjects named on the opening homepage identify principal aspects of the college. Each of those topics - academics, service, adventure, opportunity, community, outcomes, tradition - links or will link to a feature story containing a changing array of rich media - video, photos, stories.
Partnering for technical and design production with Acsys Interactive
SMC marketing and IT departments built the site over the course of two years with campus wide input. They worked with development partner Acsys Interactive, providing ongoing support including essential development and design production. The project included the selection of the Sitecore content management system(CMS) to be used continuously to maintain and refresh website content.
Some specific user-helpful innovations are:
- Rotating Home-page stories that highlight key features central to Saint Michael's College
- A St. Mike's Connect bar that provides direct access to many of the school’s online channels (bloggers, current and future students on Facebook and Twitter, athletics news, campus news, events)
- A Do Something Good feature on the homepage that highlights upcoming community-service efforts.
- A campus-wide events calendar that makes it easy to sort upcoming campus events by type.