The new Kenyon website officially launched on Sept. 16.
Led by the Office of Communications, the project of redesigning the Kenyon website started a year ago in cooperation with Fastspot.
The staff members had been continually refining their plans, goals and priorities for the project ever since, looking at the analytics of the old website and talking with people around campus. The idea for the redesign, however, was not necessarily new.
“A redesign is something that every college plans for on a cyclical basis,” explained Vice President for Communications Janet Marsden. “Even if we didn’t start until a year ago, it has been something that our team is planning for and getting ready.”
One of the most noticeable updates to the website is that purple no longer assumes the prominent role in the overall layout. Despite this change, Marsden assures people that her team has not “abandoned Kenyon purple.” Instead, the team has decided to represent Kenyon’s spirit by increasing the website’s focus on the College’s most distinctive feature: its literary atmosphere. “I think that [emphasis] really captures Kenyon in a beautiful and poetic way,” Marsden said.
The new website aims to place that focus on writing in the forefront. “The design [of the new website] allows us to feature and bubble more of the content,” said Marsden. A section called “Writing at Kenyon” under the Academics column showcases quotes from student writings and student publications like HIKA and Lyceum and features student blogs in the “Kenyon News” section.
According to Marsden, the other driving force behind the redesign was to more effectively present Kenyon to prospective students. In order to do so, a large number of personal writings have been included in the website’s “Explore Kenyon” section.
A week after the website’s launch, students and faculty have responded positively, Marsden says. As members of the Kenyon community get used to the new website, the Office of Communications welcomes constructive feedback from users. “We hope that people will share with us their experience with it so that we can continue to put that in best use,” said Marsden.
Though the overall redesign is finished, the work isn’t done for the Office of Communications. In the coming months, they will monitor the website closely. “We will be looking at our traffic to see how people are using the site,” said Burns. “Then we can see whether there are adjustments we need to make.” The Office will continue to constantly analyze, revise and update the site. “The website is a tool as much as a publication. It’s something we are touching all the time,” Marsden said.
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