New website causes new adjustment

New website causes new adjustment

Moriah Howell

Senior Kyra Miller checks the updated school website last week in Krebs Hall lobby.

Nathan Bottiger and Ashley Bach

Returning students, professors and staff have returned to the routine of daily campus activity, including regular use of the university’s website.

After last year’s athletic pages remodel, the project extended to the main website, which most students use most frequently, especially when accessing My Pitt.

The new website design seems to add a fresh and professional look. Most students seem to enjoy the superior aesthetic compared to the previous version.

The website launched Aug. 4.

The Pitt-Johnstown site’s home page lists achievements and statistics alongside photos of instructors, current students and alumni.

Web designer Michael Morlacci led the redesign.

“We have many goals for the new website design, and one is to meet the needs of many different user experiences,” he said.

Morlacci said his goal for current students, faculty and staff is to create a user-friendly environment, allowing them to find information easily and stay updated with campus events and activities.

“Regarding prospective students and visitors, we want to enable them to really find out more about who we are, and again easily find information that interests them.”

Morlacci said he would also like to improve upon mobile adaptability, online forms and registrations.

Freshman Thomas Toure said he is briefly familiar with the website. He said the website looks professional.

“It looks fancy,” Toure said.

Toure said he has experienced some issues with the website’s navigation.

“You need a while to surf on it to find what you’re looking for.”

Toure said part of this he attributes to the numerous links for documents and other pages packed into the pages.

Toure said he feels confident he can adjust to the website and use it comfortably in the future.

Toure’s thoughts about the site’s navigability seem mimicked by some upperclassmen. Humanities division secretary Linda Coyle said it may be a matter of unfamiliarity.

Most upperclassmen know the old layout and expect to see that layout when going to the site, while freshmen are new to the format completely.

Coyle said it is all a matter of learning to navigate the site.

Owen Library Administrative Assistant Mandy Waters said she never used the previous site, but the new version is easy to use.

Morlacci said he has not received any major complaints. He said the issues that have arisen were minor edits to the pages or advice on locations of documents and links.

“But those are to be expected with a new launch.”

Morlacci said the harshest complaint felt more good-natured than heavy criticism.

“The biggest complaint was actually a good-natured jab from an (alumnus) who said, ‘It figures once I graduate they make an awesome website.’”

Alumnus TJ Reckner posted the comment Aug. 4 via Twitter. A screenshot of Morlacci’s work was included in the Twitter post.

Morlacci said this jab from Twitter affirmed his efforts further, since he plans to continue incorporating social media into the website.

“Our social media following has more than tripled in the past year, which is evidence that we were- and still are providing a wide range of information.”

Morlacci’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. Perfection in the digital era may be an impossible feat, but now someone is there to allow the site to evolve as does the community using it.