Website Redesign Project FAQs
Learn more about the Website Redesign
Carthage embarked on our work to redesign the Carthage.edu website in December 2020. Our work began with several months of research. In addition to conducting a full audit of our old website, we surveyed our campus community; interviewed students, faculty, staff, and guidance counselors; and conducted focus groups with various audiences. Learn more about the project through the FAQs below!
The previous Carthage.edu website launched in 2014 — back when many of our current and prospective students were still in middle school. There have been many advances in website design and technologies since then, as well as many changes at Carthage.
The website is the most important recruitment and communication tool we have. Our Carthage.edu website needs to clearly communicate all that Carthage offers today. That includes new areas of study, such as data science and social justice; new programs for graduate and transfer students; and new campus-wide initiatives like The Aspire Program and the College’s important work in equity and inclusion.
The previous website design was inflexible, making it difficult to give these exciting new programs the engaging web presence they deserve.
In addition, we needed to make sure people can use our website easily, so we worked to make critical improvements in the site’s navigation, accessibility, and functionality across mobile devices. After all, the Carthage.edu website should be as beautiful and welcoming as our campus.
Our primary goals for the redesign were to:
- Provide our audiences with a compelling, engaging, and user-friendly online experience that showcases Carthage’s distinct offerings; bolsters the College’s identity; enlivens and strengthens our messaging; and supports goals in recruitment, retention, engagement, and fundraising.
- Improve our website navigation (menus), accessibility, and functionality across mobile devices by making necessary improvements in the site’s architecture and streamlining our website menus.
This redesign impacts all web pages within the www.carthage.edu domain. Some parts of our website received a complete overhaul — new design, new images, and new content. Other parts of our site received a new look, but the content didn’t change much, at least for now.
Included in this project:
- The main Carthage.edu homepage
- Major landing pages such as About Carthage, Admission & Aid, Academics, and Life at Carthage.
- Academic pages for majors, minors, and areas of study
- Office websites
- The Bridge
- Our website’s navigation — we’ve streamlined the main menu and all other site menus to improve mobile functionality, accessibility, and the user experience.
Not included in this project:
- The Harbor
- These are all still accessible through their old URLs and through OneLogin.
The Carthage Athletics website is also getting a new look this winter, but the Athletics website redesign is not part of this project.
The website redesign project was led by the Office of Marketing and Communications at Carthage. The Carthage staff members overseeing this project are Elizabeth Young, Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications; Samantha Ornig, Digital Communications Specialist; and Steve Kirk, Web Developer.
Multiple other people on the Mar-Comm team played a role, as well as several members of the Admissions team and the student, faculty, and staff members of our Website Redesign Advisory Committee.
See the full web redesign team
Carthage partnered with the award-winning web design and development agency idfive for this complex project. idfive is recognized for its research-based approach to developing websites that aren’t just beautifully designed, but that also deliver results by using design elements to guide users to desired next steps. We’ve been very familiar with idfive’s work for almost a decade now. The “id” in “idfive” stands for “informed design.” They work primarily with higher education, nonprofits, healthcare, advocacy, arts and culture, and development fundraising
Read more about idfive
Read more about idfive’s commitment to equity and inclusion
Yes. We involved the Carthage community in many ways for this project.
- Research and discovery — The first phase of our redesign work was research and discovery. In December 2020 and January 2021, idfive and the Office of Marketing and Communications conducted interviews and focus groups with Carthage faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni. In addition, a survey was sent to all Carthage students, faculty, and staff.
- Advisory role — A Website Redesign Advisory Committee of students, faculty, and staff provided input at key points in the project, including reviewing the new site’s navigation, homepage concept, and user testing. In addition, we worked with our Admissions team and sought feedback from many Carthage students during the design process.
- Sub-site planning — We involved the “owners” of a section of our website (for example, a department chair for a specific major/minor webpage) once we began to build out each new site in the new design. All Carthage department and office heads were invited to meet individually with members of the web team in November and December to review their new sites and contribute ideas, feedback, and new content.
Yes! All Carthage faculty and staff who oversee a department/office were invited to schedule a 50-minute meeting with the Carthage web team to review their website in November or December. If you did not schedule your meeting and would like to meet now, simply email Samantha Ornig at email@example.com. Sam will be happy to go over your new site, as well as work with you to update any content or fix navigation issues.
Please note: As with our previous design, we use a set of design templates throughout the Carthage.edu website to ensure a cohesive look, easy navigation, and usability.
Due to the project timeline, we have taken a phased approach to update content and imagery. Some parts of our website have not changed very much yet. They have a new design, but their content and menu structure have stayed the same for now. In those cases, we needed very little from the heads/chairs until their site can receive a more substantial overhaul.
LiveWhale is the content management system we use to manage all of the stories, copy, and images on Carthage.edu webpages. We will continue to use LiveWhale to manage the content in the new Carthage.edu website. Because the new site does bring changes to how content is managed, all LiveWhale users will need to go through some brief training to manage content in their new sites. Contact Samantha Ornig at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yep! The Office of Marketing & Communications, along with our design partner idfive held three Website Reveal Parties in late October. All members of the Carthage community were invited to attend these presentations by email, through The Bridge, and through our social media accounts. We also presented the new website to all faculty at the November Division meetings, and held several tabling events outside the Caf and in Lentz Hall to show off the new site.
We understand there may be frustrating moments as you navigate our new website. After all, you were used to our old site! You probably had found workarounds to navigate quickly to the tools you use most often.
Moving to a new website is much like moving into a new house — when someone else has done all the unpacking and organizing for you. The new place is much more organized, but you have no idea where the spoons are, and that’s very annoying.
We encourage you to spend a few minutes looking at:
- The main navigation. Click on the red “FULL MENU” button in the upper right corner. The full menu will pop out, displaying many links to top-visited pages. Click the “X” to close it again. You’ll note audience navigation along the bottom of this menu, with specific links for current students, faculty and staff, parents and family, and community members.
- The “Campus Tools” drop-down menu. This handy menu is at the top of every Carthage.edu page and includes quick links to OneLogin, COVID information, our directory, and more.
We worked very hard to make our new website easy to navigate. It may not feel that way for a while, as you get adjusted, but we promise you will get comfortable quickly.
Still frustrated or need help? We’re here to help. Contact Elizabeth Young, email@example.com, or Samantha Ornig, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions or comments about the website redesign or a suggested question we should add to this FAQs page, please contact Elizabeth Young at email@example.com or Samantha Ornig at firstname.lastname@example.org