It’s a fact; today’s students are wired differently from their predecessors because they’ve grown up with, and on, the Internet. They are quick to learn about and make use of new technologies and demand streamlined access to the websites and information they need.
With that in mind, a multidisciplinary team from the Registrar’s Office, the Communications & Public Affairs Division and University Information Technology at York University decided it was time to redesign the Current Students website so that it better suited the needs of students. The existing version of the website had not changed significantly since 2003 and a review was needed. A project team was created to look at the existing site and develop a new look and vision.
Over the better part of the last year, the team examined and interpreted analytics for the existing Current Students website. They spoke with students to find out firsthand what kind of information they needed and the best way to deliver it.
The new design for the Current Students website
The conundrum the team faced was that York University offers a host of online resources for students. Curating this information in a way that was meaningful was the key challenge. “Our research shows that the most visited pages demonstrated that students were clicking on subheadings, which led them to another page of lists,” says Molly Morris, assistant registrar, Registrarial Information Services. “We needed to reduce the number of clicks required to get to the information students were looking for.”
The data, says Morris, shows that there are definitely favourite pages for students within the areas of Courses & Enrolment; Money Matters, Academic Resources, Student Life, Campus Services and Future Planning. “We found that students weren’t always familiar with all of the information and tools available through the my.yorku portal and its benefits and how it could help with their day-to-day life at the University.
The research was put to use and the result is a newly redesigned Current Students website that gives students important information in one location. Morris says the emphasis is on convenience and giving students a fast track to the tools and information they want and need while at York University.
The new Current Students website now has the my.yorku.ca student portal highlighted on a prominent place on the page. Handy reminders are placed next to it and student activities are now given a place of importance on the site. There’s also a more direct route to social media.
Lists of sites that York students will need to access throughout their time at York University have been categorized into “buckets” that make sense, with direct access to the Registrar’s Office, Student Financial Services, Academic Resources and Student Community and Leadership Development. Access to Moodle and Student webmail (known as MyMail) is one click away.
Navigation has been simplified with a greater emphasis on 24/7 self-serve options.
The result is a sleek, easy to use, responsive site that gives York students the information they need, when they need it. To see the final result, visit the Current Students website.