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Massive hours behind new website launch

By BECCA KENNELLY / VN STAFF WRITER
On March 28, 2017

Most of you have probably noticed the new website the university created under the direction of Marketing and Public Affairs Department, but might not be sure of what it actually took to pull it off.

The last time the website went through any major redesign was in 2006.

At that time, there were 2,195 webpages and files. By 2014, there were 41,778.

The reorganization and redesign of the website included reviewing and editing several thousand pages.

“The number-one most important goal was to get university websites to work well on mobile devices like smartphones,” said Jon Whitener of the department. “We knew that more and more site visitors were using phones to view our site, and the old site did not work well on small displays. It was important reorganize the website content to be more focused on the goals of the prospective student visitor.”

The Marketing and Public Affairs Department asked professors from each school within the university to help in the creation process.

Many people from the university helped with this year-and-a-half long project.

“The project was comprehensive and moved through several stages,” said Whitener. “As the technical lead on the project, I applied many of the software engineering and project management ideas I learned as a graduate of Detroit Mercy’s Mathematics, Computer Science and Software Engineering Department.”

Whitener credited the department with helping considerably on the project.

“Now that the new websites have launched, we are still in very high-intensity mode as we work to respond to the hundreds upon hundreds of questions and requests that have come in,” he said. “We’re also training university employees on how to update their content in the new system.”

The goal remains to make the site as user-friendly as it can be.

“I really love the way the new website is designed,” said Detroit Mercy senior Lauren Sharkey. “I think that it is much more appealing to the eyes as well as user friendly. It is very easy to find what you are looking for and I am very excited to see the changes the university has made recently.” 

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