Susquehanna University

Challenge

Susquehanna University is a liberal arts and sciences college located in central Pennsylvania. It currently has more than 2,200 students studying over 60 different majors and minors. Susquehanna University was recently named to the U.S. News & World Report's 2016 Best Liberal Arts Colleges and the NYT Economic Diversity list.

Dealing with an outdated website from both the backend administration and front-end web presence, Susquehanna University was ready to move into the 21st century and provide a modern and mobile responsive web experience.

Daniel MacArthur, Web Community Manager, and the project manager for the website redesign project talked about the decision to migrate to the Ingeniux platform and how the university’s web experience has improved greatly.

When MacArthur took over in his current role at the end of October, the university was using a soon-to-be unsupported non-user friendly web content management platform. Along with the decision to upgrade the WCM to improve the website, the university also wanted to upgrade its course catalog capabilities, so a total redesign project was started.

The University’s design partner initially recommended Ingeniux. After a few demos and a review of the pricing and hosting models, Ingeniux was selected as the new WCM platform for the university, as well as the new catalog platform. MacArthur indicated that the pricing was right, and the platform offered the right perspective on onsite versus hosting opportunities. It also helped that existing Ingeniux customers were very positive about their experiences with the platform.

Solution

Susquehanna selected the hosting option for Ingeniux because it wanted its web presence to be available even when there were outages around the University and surrounding area. Along with the hosting option, Ingeniux was selected for its flexibility and its responsive design capabilities.

In just under a year, a new website for Susquehanna University was up and running, along with a new course catalog that included a print version.

Although the hosting and price were key drivers to selecting Ingeniux, there were also many other features that helped the university design a more flexible experience. One of these was the Ingeniux taxonomy capabilities, which helped with content creation and displaying content on the web pages.

Robust permissioning was also an important feature. The initial launch took place with a small group who had full permissions. Now, MacArthur says they are integrating the campus and community and are putting permissions in place around workflow, managing web pages and more.

The new Susquehanna University website launched in August 2015, and there are more plans in the works to improve the student web experience. A new events calendar that integrates with a third party vendor, Active Data Calendar, will support the display of events, including filtered events for specific areas of the website.

Another project involves the display of courses taught by a specific faculty member. Faculty courses are stored in the database for four years. MacArthur said they wanted to show the kinds of courses a faculty member teaches separate from the course catalog.

The new student web experience has improved greatly. MacArthur said they shifted their analytics from looking at pure traffic to a conversion perspective.

With the new website, they have cut down the number of pages required to get to needed information and improved ease of use taking students from five clicks to get their information to a single click. He said the conversion pages are also being found easier, and they are converting.

One thing they liked was the ability to add custom scripts to the header and footer so they could do A/B testing using Google. They are already looking at what they can improve based on user interactions on the website.

When asked what he appreciated most about working with Ingeniux, MacArthur indicated the initial project team was great and extremely knowledgeable, including the on-site trainer. He also said the Ingeniux user conference was a great event, and it provided him an opportunity to meet face-to-face with the people the university worked with on the project.

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Higher Education

Susquehanna University

Ingeniux CMS revolutionized the way that Susquehanna University created, published, and managed their content online, while a fully redesigned website improved the student experience.

Higher Education