In the digital age, websites such as Yahoo, Twitter and Facebook are constantly changing to appeal to users, and the Tech website is no different.
The new website was designed to create a better looking website for students and a website that functions better, said Dave Guerin, executive director of university communications.
Tom Soto, assistant Webmaster, designed the website, Guerin said.
“It’s based on a good balance of functionality and aesthetibility,” Guerin said. “Tom did a really good job of trying to blend those two elements.”
Soto said he and his web team worked on the website for 13 months, researching, designing, coding templates and testing the site at the Louisiana Tech University-Shreveport/Bossier location.
“Once we tested it, we piloted it with Shreveport/Bossier first because it was a small site,” Soto said.
Soto said over the next two months, they will be converting more pages to the new design and the site will continue to change in the future. Different colleges could customize their site by changing the background to something else rather than the background of the main page.
“Each site can have its own look,” Soto said. “For Louisiana Tech at Shreveport/Bossier, we put a big @ symbol in the back.”
Soto said this is part of the dynamic of functionality to be able to go and change the background of one page or the whole site.
Soto said most feedback about the site has been positive.
“We have received comments from students, faculty, staff, alumni and other universities about how awesome the site looks,” he said.
Guerin also said most of the feedback for the new site has been positive, but for some it may take time to get use to.
“There are those natural growing pains, but all in all the feedback we have gotten is positive,” Guerin said.
Soto said they were able to work through issues after piloting the site, and with the launch of the website, there have been very few problems.
“The problems we have faced or that we have had phone calls or emails about are user-specific, meaning it’s the setting in their browser they have to change,” Soto said.
He said another issue people have told them about are the navigation links at the top of the page do not work. This was an issue because some people were using an old version of Internet Explorer, and an upgrade will fix the problem.
However, some students say the problem is not so much with the function of the website as it is with the navigation of the website.
Mikaela Fitzwater, a freshman English secondary education major, said it is hard for her to navigate the site.
“Moodle and webmail are hard enough to navigate and now you have to search for it on the website,” Fitzwater said. “I feel like it is so much harder to find everything.”
Darrell Turner, a sophomore animal science major, said he feels the same about the new website.
“For one, I think it lacks a lot,” Turner said. “For instance, the drop down menu should already come down, but you have to click on it.”
Turner said he would prefer it if webmail and Moodle were already on the site because it makes it more convenient.
Though the news site may be confusing to navigate, Soto said the new website was based on research done on how other Tier One universities designed their websites.
Soto said he and his web team really wanted to step up with this design and rival peers.
“I want a site that has the functionality or the look and feel of a major university, which I believe we are,” Soto said. “We’re a Tier One university, so I wanted a site that would reflect that.”
Email comments to rcj...@latech.edu.