Widener Unveils Redesigned Website
Welcome to the new Widener.edu!
On June 25, Widener launched a completely transformed website for Main Campus, designed to offer a cutting-edge and engaging digital experience for the next generation of students.
For more than a year, University Relations has been developing the new site – and it’s more than 850 pages – in close collaboration with campus partners.
“The university’s website is the primary source of information for our prospective students. Our goal was to transform the site to reflect the same vibrant, welcoming, personalized experience students have in their academic and extracurricular endeavors here, while also ensuring critical information and next steps for visiting and applying are easier to find and access,” said Bridget Hilferty, director of digital communications.
Content on the new site reflects how Widener places students on the inside track to professional and personal success – through strong academic programs, mentorship and connections of faculty and staff, and the real-world experiences that help jumpstart careers.
The website has been crafted to consider how the next generation of Widener undergraduate, graduate, and adult and professional students are using technology broadly, and how they’re searching for schools and academic programs specifically.
These students, the majority of whom represent Generation Z (born 1997-2012), Millennials (born 1981-1996), and Generation X (born 1965-1980), are hyper-connected, comfortable with technology and online transactions, never without their mobile devices, and accustomed to scrolling down long pages of content, à la social media feeds.
As such, the new Widener.edu is a tech-savvy, mobile-friendly site built with an intuitive navigation. Pages from the old site have been consolidated and lengthened, limiting a user’s need to click deep into layers of the site.
These next generations of students are also accustomed to googling their way to information and are likely to find their way into the Widener.edu site by search, not necessarily by visiting the homepage, the traditional front door. To that end, each page of the new site has the dynamic feel of a landing page – both informative and visually appealing, with clear call outs for more information and further exploration.
The new site places great emphasis on storytelling to illustrate how a Widener education and experiences have helped students and alumni achieve their goals. This approach is aligned with the outcome-focused, post-recession mindset of the next crop of students.
Highlights of the New Site:
Visual & Interactive
The new site includes highly visual components – video, animation, and photography – and interactive features that are both informative and engaging. The site’s visuals are designed to help prospective students see themselves on campus.
Enhanced Program Pages
The site’s 150+ program pages for undergraduate, graduate, and adult and professional students emphasize industry outlooks and student outcomes. These pages call out program options, highlights, faculty, and student stories. An At-A-Glance section offers quick, pertinent information, and the Take the Next Steps section helps guide users to visit, learn more, and apply.
The site is designed to help prospective students discover their academic paths, even if they’re unsure of the program they wish to pursue. A new program finder allows users to search and filter academic programs by keyword, area of interest, college/school, program format, and more, and to clearly see the pathway between undergraduate and graduate offerings, including the accelerated options.
An enhanced newsroom houses the latest news, stories, and media coverage of the university. The site allows this rich content to be seamlessly sourced to appropriate pages throughout the site, helping to tell the Widener story in a more compelling and thorough fashion.
Reflecting the site’s focus on storytelling, a new component called Pride Perspectives illustrates the track that individual students and alumni are taking, or have taken, to reach their desired outcome. This feature can be told through a first-person narrative, and can include photos and video.
Office/department, faculty, and clubs/organizations directories mean users can easily find information and contacts for a number of people and entities on campus. These directories are searchable and filter-able.
A website is a living document and is never truly complete. More features will be added in the future, including a facilities directory, additional stories, and other components that will keep the site fresh and dynamic.