Life University Website
Beta Launch

Thank you for being a part of Life University’s beta website launch! We hope that you find this new, innovative website easy and enjoyable to use. Below you will find links to the FAQ, a feedback survey, and an in-depth overview of the motivations and process behind creating this new LIFE website. We welcome all of your thoughts and questions and greatly appreciate your time.

Overview

We designed the Life University website to serve two main purposes: 1. Offer prospective students/families a strategic, high-level marketing experience that uses purposeful messaging, video and b-roll elements to engage the viewer and increase user experience. 2. Create a site that houses all relevant information in a way that is intuitive, modern and concise.

We maximized these two objectives by offering a tiered messaging system that allows the first messaging and experience to be targeted toward marketing opportunities and recruitment efforts while housing all the relevant contextual information deeper in the website. We chose an innovative technique that uses vertical scrolling to maximize the six main portals of information. We highlighted current students, faculty and staff in the main marketing stem to offer the user an authentic and transparent look at Life University. We incorporated several b-rolls of campus footage to increase interaction, retention and engagement. These b-rolls offer the user insight into campus life, campus culture and the surrounding environment.

In order to increase user experience for the returning (information seeking) visitor, we targeted six main user groups (future students, current students, online students, parents & families, faculty & staff and alumni) and gave each a quick access portal to individualized quick links. This allows repeat visitors quicker access to desired content. This access point is optimized at the top of the navigation in both desktop and mobile to allow repeat visitors easy access and a streamlined and efficient way of accessing information that is relevant and meaningful to the user group.

In addition, the website was designed to be an iterative process. The web, unlike print, constantly evolves/changes and can be optimized and adapted as new trends, information and data present themselves. We feel strongly about cultivating Life University’s website over an extended duration, for we feel it best to continually nurture the digital landscape rather than address it once and step aside. In this approach, we have built in several features to be adapted and incorporated at a later date.

 

Changelog & Response Center

11/05/14

Regarding links on the Dashboard

We have received multiple feedback responses regarding links on all sections of the Dashboard. We have updated the links and corrected what was causing the issue. We appreciate your feedback and will continue to update and monitor the links on the Dashboard. If you have any suggestions of what links should be placed in specific sections of the Dashboard, please let us know. Our goal is to have a place where all members of the Life University community can find what they need. Thank you for your continued participation throughout this Beta period.

10/27/14

Regarding legacy browsers

When this site was engineered, several factors were considered before decisions were made regarding which browsers would be officially supported. Some of the factors used to reach this decision included: current site traffic and usage, continued vendor support of older browsers and both domestic and international browser usage statistic trends. One factor that weighed heavy on our browser-compatibility decision came from an announcement made by Microsoft earlier this year detailing their plans to drop all technical support for “legacy” versions of both the Microsoft Windows Operating System and the Internet Explorer web browser within the next year. Beyond complete visual overhauls, modern web browsers like Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 11 support new technologies that can drastically improve the overall user experience while keeping users more safe and secure while browsing the web. Due to this announcement, combined with the relatively small number of users currently using the Life University site (roughly 6%), we have primarily focused on delivering an innovative website experience on current/modern browsers. For the best, most up-to-date experience, we recommend using browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera and IE11.

10/27/14

Top-level navigation

We have resolved a known issue to the navigation bar caused by file permissions and several updates to the mobile site. These issues have been resolved as of 12PM on Monday, September 27. All top level navigation items should be functioning appropriately.

10/27/14

Regarding content-based feedback

Thank you for your feedback. Content is and will continue to be the most important feedback we receive during beta. We have a team standing by researching each content-related feedback submission. Our goal is to implement appropriate responses to ensure content is located in the most logical place for you — the user. This was and still is one of our main objectives for the beta period. Thank you for your support and feedback and as we address all items of concern, please check back frequently to our Change Log located on the main feedback page.

10/28/14

Regarding the Faculty/ Staff Dashboard

We have received feedback about the links on the Faculty & Staff dashboard page. We will be updating these links throughout the beta period. Our goal is to supply Faculty & Staff with the most relevant links to their daily habits. However, to do this, we need to know what links are deemed most important and which links they would like to see added. When leaving feedback about the dashboard, please include what pages, links or sites would be most helpful for Faculty & Staff to have accessible on their dashboard. Thank you for your continued support during this beta period.

 

Q&A

Our New Homepage

Why is there such a long homepage?

We used an innovative vertical scroll technique on the homepage to allow the University to highlight specific marketing messages to prospective students. We have taken great pride in allowing users to quickly navigate the website when relevant information is needed and have included features like homepage news and events and the quick links dashboard for increased mobility and navigation.

What is the point of B-roll video on the homepage?

We believe b-roll video is the most transparent way to show prospective students the true culture of Life University. Whether it’s campus life, classroom interaction, peer engagement or an athletic event, the website offers viewers a tangible, unique insight into what it’s like to be part of Life University.

Who are the people on the homepage and why are they there?

We have selected six current Life University students, faculty and staff to represent each of our six navigation categories. They are, from top to bottom: President Dr. Riekeman, Lissette Jiminez, Dr. Cynthia Boyd, Emanuel Echandy, Coach Dan Payne and Dr. Josephine Kershaw.

Why are there only six navigation categories on the homepage?

Based on our research, these six categories (About, Academics, Admissions, Campus Life, Athletics and Online) house the most common and relevant information our users seek. We also added a seventh Quick Links menu item that launches specific information portals for quick navigation.

Our New Dashboard

Can I customize the dashboard?

At this point, the dashboard is not customizable. This website was designed and executed on the understanding that it will be an ongoing, iterative process. A customizable dashboard is, however, part of our future plans.

Do I have to use the dashboard?

No, you can access all information from other parts of the website. You’ll also notice that each dashboard quick link is housed in the same categories as the homepage navigation for easy retention and increased usability.

Website Content

Do I get to the content the same way from the dashboard?

Yes. While it is a shortcut, the content is being retrieved in the same manner as if you navigated to the individual page by using the top and secondary navigation options. You’ll notice the bread crumb trail at the top of each sub-page is the same whether you use a quick link or the standard navigation process.

How do I find content?

You can find content in three different ways: by using standard navigation, the dashboard or the search bar located at the top right of each webpage.

Can I search?

Yes, you can find the search bar in a black tab at the top right of each webpage, highlighted by a dark blue magnifying glass.

Will the website have promotional ad space?

In our efforts to keep the website informative and purposeful, it will not have additional promotional ad space.

Where are all the thumbnail pictures on content pages?

In order to highlight the campus, we have used an innovative technique that places full screen images behind content on tier 2 and 3. If the user choses to minimize content by clicking the minus icon, the viewer can scroll through a gallery of preselected university images in full screen. This is an additional feature we have included to highlight the natural beauty and state-of-the-art facilities available to LIFE students. In order to increase the impact of these images and allow them to remain the focal point, we have purposefully lessened the amount of thumbnail/infographic type images on all content pages.

Technical Questions

What happens if I hover over the Apply button on the homepage?

The apply button has a slight animation to activate the link. Beyond that, one may wish to explore for any additional easter eggs tied to the Apply link.

Will my bookmarks still work?

Unfortunately, no. You will need to reset any and all of your current Life University bookmarks. We also encourage you to bookmark your appropriate Quick Links page for even quicker access to pertinent information.

Is the site responsive and/or mobile friendly?

While we plan to fully support all potential platforms, currently the site is best viewed in modern desktop browsers, with support for iOS and Android browsers improving every day. We understand the importance of a consistent browsing experience, and great care is being taken to minimize discrepancies across multiple platforms.

Does the site support "legacy" browsers?

After viewing our current traffic trends, we made the decision to focus our development work on support modern browsers. As we progress with the iterative process of the site, we will continue to build fallback support for legacy browsers.

Why did we do this?

What was the purpose of redoing the website?

Our main purpose in redoing the Life University website is to help achieve and participate in President Riekeman’s 20/20 vision. Part of his vision is to increase enrollment, and we believe a new website with strategic, focused marketing messages teamed with a new approach that showcases the campus environment will allow the University to position itself both academically and socially in a more relevant way. This will attract more users, visitors and prospective students, ultimately resulting in increased enrollment.

What improvements have been made?

We have upgraded our server host and increased our server speed. Our new site is faster, safer and has increased bandwidth allowing the University unparalleled load times, traffic management and peace-of-mind. Our search functionality is also an upgraded version of previous search functionality. In addition, as we iterate the search, functionality will increasingly get smarter.

 

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