Murray State’s new website was soft-launched on February 6, but the planning for the new website started last year.
The original system Murray had couldn’t keep up with the high demand, so the University decided to make a change.
“We decided to do a soft launch because Friday is the day that has the least amount of traffic on the website, so if there were any issues they could be solved quickly,” said Catherine Sivills, assistant vice president of branding, marketing and communications.
“The new system we have is also one other universities use, so we are able to learn from our peers,” Sivills said.
One of the first steps that was taken was meeting with all of the admissions staff to ask them what they wanted because they are the ones who are on the recruiting end.
They requested three buttons (request info, apply now and schedule a visit) because it would reach out to potential students and parents, Sivills said.
The website has a responsive design, which means the design will stay the same no matter what device it’s shown on, Sivills said. The University was able to do that design in house, which saved a lot of money.
Kati Heil, junior from Louisville, Ky., said it looks nicer, but it’s harder to navigate.
“The buttons weren’t at the top, and when I first logged on it took a minute to find where the links were for Canvas and MyGate, but it looks better on my phone,” Heil said.
There are less links to places, and a visible search area because people now are used to searching to find what they need and taking little time to find it, Sivills said.
Although the feedback received about the website from Student Government Association was very positive, there are still some students who dislike the website because of navigation.
Maryssa Lynn, sophomore from Edwardsville, Ill., said it has a more modern look but takes some initial deciphering.
“It looks better, but it’s going to take some time to get used to,” Lynn said.
Morgan Davis, sophomore from Clinton, Ky., said she is frustrated because she is unable to find anything on the site.
“At first, I couldn’t find where MyGate and Canvas were. I am still really frustrated that I can’t click straight to the links,” Davis said.
There are also some students who, like SGA, appreciate the new website.
Lucy Judah, senior from Louisville, Ky., said she likes the site.
“It’s clean and easy to navigate,” Judah said.
The website is mainly targeting the external audience to recruit them to Murray State, not the internal audience who is already here, but with the idea to accommodate to them as well, Sivills said.
Although most pages have already migrated over to the new site, if there are any pages that have not yet migrated, contact Charley Allen, the web manager, at 809-3919.
Story by Brittany Risko, Staff Writer