Quick, everyone go to www.wesleyan.edu! The new Wesleyan website is up as of today and it’s quite different than the old one. Currently the redesigned pages include the homepage, Admissions web site, and several major pages including About, Academics, Campus Life, Alumni, Parents, and Offices & Services, but a recent all-campus email from ITS informs us that this is represents only the initial phase of a larger redesign effort:
These pages are only the first to be changed to the new design. This begins a major transformation of the Wesleyan website that will continue throughout 2010. All departments and sub-pages will be converted to the new design and content management system over the coming 12-18 months.
Aesthetically, the new layout is undeniably snazzier and has a more modern feel than its old incarnation.
That said, the site now appears to be entirely geared toward outsiders. Look at the tiny portfolio button at the top of the page. This is barely noticeable, whereas before the e-portfolio sign-in box was very prominent. Where is the library button so we can quickly find books in Olin? It looks like you have to click on the tiny “Offices & Services” button up top and then when you get to that page scroll down to the right to find the library link. These aren’t huge problems, of course, but they are inconvenient.
It’s fine that the school wants to give a better sense of Wesleyan to potential applicants and donors, but they shouldn’t forget the students and faculty who use the site every day. We don’t want to wade through promotional material every time we want to go to Caleb. If they fix these sorts of things up, the new website will be fine.