NAU web site gets makeover

NAU website shot

Northern Arizona University will launch a dramatically overhauled web site as part of the university’s enhanced recruitment strategy and its commitment to a unified marketing image.

The user-friendly site offers a variety of features that are specifically designed to meet the information needs of individual users and the marketing needs of NAU.

“Our new web site will provide a more personal web experience,” said Jeff Dillon, web developer in NAU’s marketing department, who has been managing the implementation of the new site over the last year. At least 40 individuals at NAU have been involved with its creation.

More than 50 pages throughout the NAU web site will use the new system, including NAU’s main home page and its supporting pages, several pages within Admissions, each of the six colleges’ home pages, splash pages that route visitors to NAU’s Alumni and Athletics web sites, and others. The content at each of these pages will be maintained by NAU staff in departments across campus.

“The new design creates continuity throughout the top tier of NAU web pages,” Dillon said.

A key feature will be the personalized content geared toward the specific interests of visitors to the new pages.

“Prospective students who identify their academic and extracurricular interests will see a web site customized with information and photos that are more relevant to them,” Dillon said, adding that Admissions staff will have better tools to better target their recruitment communications.

The new web site, using ActiveCampus software from Datatel (formerly Liquid Matrix), also makes it easier to complete important tasks, like submitting applications for admission, paying application fees and scheduling visits—all online. The application process itself will become more user-friendly by allowing applicants to complete the application in whatever order they prefer.

David Bousquet, vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, said the project represents the successful completion of a huge team effort led by University Marketing, ITS and Admissions that involved the colleges and departments as well as numerous faculty and students. “It will improve service to prospective students and parents and provide an important vehicle to successfully showcase the university and its many offerings,” he said.

Another feature is the addition of hundreds of rotating testimonials featuring NAU alumni, students and faculty. The pages also will have graphics that will highlight events, programs and university news.

The system integrates with virtually all student information systems, sharing information gathered from the web site personalization tool. The stored data will allow for more effective communications, including direct e-mail campaigns that will help prospective students, parents, alumni and visitors feel more connected to the university.

“It’s a giant step forward in bringing consistency to the web site. That to me is a real big thing for the university,” said Carla Andrews-O’Hara, director of University Marketing. “The Internet is a really strong medium for us to get our message out, and NAU is now reaching that point in its evolution that we can be players in that realm by incorporating the power of the Internet in our marketing strategies in a cohesive manner.”