Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College

Browsers and Seekers

Posted on February 17, 2010

As the web site grew larger it got more and more difficult for visitors to find what they needed. One goal of the renovation project was to expand the site navigation. We knew from the start that we wanted different navigation tools for different visitor needs, and we wanted them available on every page of the site.

We've found that visitors arrive in one of two modes: they're seeking something in particular, or they want to browse and see what we have. Often a visitor will change modes during a session -- 'I came for soccer scores, but I wonder what else is going on here?' or 'These people seem to be doing interesting things, what aid programs do they have for me?' -- but at any moment she is either seeking something or browsing around.

People who come to the site often, including most of the campus community, tend to know what they're looking for and what it's called. For them we have Search, and it works the way they expect, because it's Google. But we've enhanced it. Start typing in the search box in the top right of any page. After a letter or three suggestions will appear to speed the search. At last, 'biology' and 'baseball' are just a keystroke and a click from the home page! And for visitors who never type, there are Quicklinks on every page.

First time visitors, and others trying to understand what Wheaton's about, are more likely to browse. Quicklinks are for them, too, providing a condensed, categorized view of the whole site. And for the hardcore browser we've enhanced the main menu, put it on every page, added new landing pages in Admission, Academics, Campus Life and other areas to provide an introduction and extensive links, and improved the submenus throughout the site.

Welcome to the renovated Wheaton web. For more information, take a tour.

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