Class works to improve SIUC Web site

By Gus Bode

The launch of SIUC’s new Web site has inspired a Web application development class to step it up.

The class finished a test run of their own version of www.siuc.edu Tuesday night. Kieran Brown, the leader of the redesign group, said he didn’t know the site was already being redesigned when they started the project.

He said his goal was to create a project good enough to present to the administration.

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On Thursday, the university launched a redesigned Web site designed to be more clean cut and easy to use.

Brown said the class site has the same goal.

The fonts on the class site can be easily resized and information is organized by type of information rather than being divided up by users.

Rob Dux, a senior from Roselle studying information systems technology, is a part of the team working on the class site. He said the first step was to make the old site easier to use, instead of “having to dig for a needle in the haystack.”

Fellow team member Steve Mulderink, a senior from La Grange studying management, said he thinks the Web site should be designed for students, not just as a marketing tool.

Dux said he wanted to work on the site for experience, and though the concept may not be perfect, it would provide a good starting point.

Janet Douglas, Web services leader for University Communications, said the new Web site has received between 50 and 60 e-mails recommending changes since its launch.

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Douglas said people wanting their Web site’s link on the homepage was the most frequent request, and a link has been added for SalukiNet. She said they are also working on new maps for the site.

Douglas said she’s interested in seeing the class version of the page. The university held 10 focus groups on campus for students and faculty, but she said she didn’t know if any of the people there were from the computer science department.

“We’re interested in any suggestions because this is going to be an ongoing process and the web has to change all the time,” she said.

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