School introduces new Web site
A much anticipated project was completed this summer-the launch of the School of Management's new Web site.
Dave Costello, assistant dean of information technology, and Jackie Ghosen, assistant dean and director of communications, co-managed the project. Also serving on the team were Eugene Colucci, Peter Little, Maggie Grady, Mary Ann Rogers and Marina Tarasova.
The project was more than a year in the making. "We could have just tossed up a new design template, but we wanted to take advantage of some new technologies that would enable us to adapt more easily moving forward," says Costello.
"All of our target audiences-students, prospective students, parents, alumni and the business community-use the Web to find out about the school," says Ghosen. "This overhaul represented an opportunity to better serve our customers while developing a look and feel befitting a world-class business school."
The process started with research. Surveys were sent to current and prospective students, alumni, faculty, staff and recruiters. With nearly 800 responses, the results were clear. The good news was that the overwhelming majority of respondents said they could easily navigate our site and find what they were looking for. The bad news: our site was boring, and our content was too long. Respondents asked for more color, more technology and more pizzazz.
The timing of the project followed on the heels of the school's regular reaccreditation. Faculty and staff had recently helped to update the school's strategic plan and the senior staff engaged in a branding exercise led by Douglas Bean, MBA '87, managing partner at Eric Mower and Associates, and his team.
"It was helpful to use our strategic plan and our brand to guide us as we made decisions for design and content," says Ghosen.
Sassy Design Group, including Sherry Sutton, CEL '94, president, and designer Deb Engel, provided several creative templates from which to choose and worked extensively with the project team to create a polished look that was professional, inviting and user-friendly.
Algonquin Studios provided QuantumCMS, the content management system that would power the Web site behind the scenes. Steve Kiernan '84, MBA '86, CEO and chair, assigned Adrian Roselli as chief liaison to assist the School of Management team with the transition.
"Their expertise was incredibly helpful," says Costello. "We changed the way we do things in a number of areas, and they were able to provide us with some great advances while helping us to continue to meet all our compliance requirements."
With thousands of pages to convert, the implementation was extensive, but the team stayed focused with Ghosen and Rogers revising and editing content, and Costello, Colucci, Tarasova, Little and Grady working on the technical aspects.
The new site went live in July to rave reviews. Take a look at the new features highlighted in this article, and by all means, visit the site at mgt.buffalo.edu.
The entire team views the launch of the new site as a beginning, not an ending, and they invite you to send your comments, ideas and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.