Student development website aims toward better student service

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    Sporting a fresh look, the renovated website for the Student Development Services (SDS) features a feed from what2do@tcu.com, better website adaptation for mobile devices and “tl;dr” readings.

    “It will serve students a lot better than our old one,” Director of Sophomore and Junior Experience Keri Cyr said. “It’s a better way to put all the opportunities that SDS provides in front of students.”

    Cyr was responsible for the creation of the website.

    Like the previous version, the renovated website has a page for each academic year. However, the information on each page is now more condensed and easier to find.

    “We think we did a better job of exposing students to what is available for their specific year,” Cyr said.

    Cyr said the pages include “tl;dr” readings, which stands for “too long; didn’t read.” She added they are “short, quick posts about things that will help them be more successful.”

    “They are what is going on with what is important to students right then, where they are right now,” Cyr said.

    Cyr said the website better features student leaders within SDS, such as Frog Camp directors and orientation leaders.

    “Students who are incoming can start to see, ‘Here are the people that you’re going to be seeing all summer long,’” Cyr said. “So we hope that it will help them make quicker connections to the people who are helping them transition to TCU.”

    SDS partnered with local firm Ardent Creative Inc. to renovate the website.

    Polly Mullens, the designer from Ardent Creative Inc. who helped create the new SDS site, said the use of tablets and mobile devices is rising. This fact prompted a focus towards better adaptability for mobile devices on the site.

    “It’s much more mobile-friendly, “ Cyr said. “We know that the vast majority of our traffic is on phones and tablets, and so we are really excited that it is responsive to mobile devices.”

    Cyr said Ardent Creative Inc. is the same company that created What2do@tcu.com. This allowed the two websites to be linked, resulting in a feed on the SDS website.

    Mullens said linking the two websites will increase traffic to a website already familiar to students

    “When discussing events, Keri [Cyr] mentioned that SDS hosts only a handful of events each year, and they are currently listed on What2Do@TCU,” Mullens said. “Therefore, having the events on the homepage link to What2Do was an obvious solution.”

    In an email, Brad Thompson, the student activities and marketing coordinator for TCU Student Activities, confirmed What2Do@TCU also receives the majority of its traffic from mobile devices and tablets.

    Thompson said in August 2014, 86 percent of the traffic to the site was on a tablet or mobile device.

    Cyr said the changes were prompted by a need for a “refresh” and a “face lift.”

    “It’s more in line with the University’s new branding standard,” Cyr said. “We put a lot of time and effort into it, and had some really good partners.”