New Rider Web Site Improves Online Experience for University Community

The vibrant campuses, colorful sights and innovative academic programming of Rider University and Westminster Choir College have found a dynamic new home with the launch of the completely redesigned Rider Web site, still located at rider.edu.
Friday, October 29, 2010

The vibrant campuses, colorful sights and innovative academic programming of Rider University and Westminster Choir College have found a dynamic new home with the launch of the completely redesigned Rider Web site, still located at rider.edu.

The site, which officially debuted on Thursday, October 21, provides the Rider and Westminster communities more streamlined access to news, improved navigation, increased information about upcoming events, tools to manage their education or employment, and more vivid photography.

“The redesign of the Web site has been an ongoing project over the last year,” explained Jamie O’Hara, vice president for Enrollment Management. “We began a discovery process during the fall of 2009 in order to gain a better understanding of where the Web site stood among its users and how we could improve the overall experience.”

 O’Hara said three assessment strategies were used to gather input from the entire Rider community, including current students, faculty and staff from both campuses, as well as from prospective undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students. The assessment strategies included the use of online focus groups, a Web evaluation of the current site and an online survey

Based on that initial discovery process, the Office of Enrollment Management identified a number of primary objectives to be used in defining the success of the redesign project.

“We set out to create a design that portrays the University as high quality; is content driven and focused for current students, faculty, staff and other visitors; and is engaging to prospective students,” O’Hara explained. “It was vital to produce an exceptional and consistent user experience throughout the Rider University site that is clear and simple to use, while providing a unique visual experience for Westminster Choir College.”

The new Rider.edu allows prospective students to enjoy a simple yet complete overview of Rider’s Lawrenceville and Westminster Choir College campuses, browse course catalogs, discover facts about the application and admissions process, and learn about the multitude of student groups available to them, as well as much more.

Current students are already enjoying a comprehensive overview page that links them to information about academics, student employment and careers, finances, graduation and commencement, life at Rider, calendars, and campus media, handbooks and policies. Faculty and staff benefit from a similar one-stop overview, while graduates can still easily access upcoming events and reunions at the Alumni Relations site.

New features on the new Rider.edu include a Historic Rider section detailing the story of the University from its earliest days in Trenton, and better access to important initiatives like Giving to Rider and Sustainability at Rider. Visitors to the site can also link themselves to Rider and Westminster via Facebook, YouTube, SmugMug photo galleries and a Rider RSS news feed.

While the new Rider.edu is now active, continued improvements will follow, including the increased use of multimedia audio and video, though the Westminster Choir College multimedia section is already rich with audio/visual content.

Please, tour the new site and let us know what you think at the Web site feedback link, located at the bottom of the Rider home page.

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