The Rosen College of Hospitality Management recently redesigned its website in order to better represent the college for incoming students, making it more visually appealing and easier to navigate.
“We decided it would be important to have the website online in time for the fall semester,” said Jackie Toops, assistant director of public relations for Rosen, who was in charge of the project.
Working alongside UCF Marketing, she and her assistant Andrea Vazquez organized the content of the website before it was finally published.
“Jackie came to us to work on a website that reached out to incoming students and communicated the college online,” said Patrick Burt, web communications director with UCF Marketing. “We wanted an inviting website that portrayed Rosen.”
Many of the photos on the website portray the environment of the college, providing viewers with a mental idea of the school without stepping foot on campus.
“With Rosen in particular, we showcased the Mediterranean resort-type feeling of the college,” Burt said. “It’s a very inviting place.”
Among the changes include a cleaner navigation system, allowing for easy viewing between pages, which has been placed clearly on both the top and bottom of the website.
“We made smarter, intuitive navigation on our new site,” Vazquez said. “We selected key UCF offices that did similar things and created groups for the students. I love that they can select one option on our website and see so many things about our college. It makes it easy for them to find that information.”
The site also connects with various UCF resources, including a news feed for Rosen events, Google Maps and UCF Today, directly on the homepage. Photos of Rosen students and faculty are also posted around the site, providing a more personalized feeling of the college.
“My favorite part of the website is the photos of the students and facilities that show what we’re all about,” said Dr. Kevin Murphy, an associate professor and a certified executive chef at the Rosen College.
Aline Fenelon, a senior and dual major in hospitality and event management, said she loves the site’s new look.
“It’s brighter, more eye-catching and definitely more user friendly,” she said. “The navigation makes it easier to find information compared to the old site. The events are posted on the homepage, and it’s better associated with UCF with the black, yellow and gold color scheme. I’m also listed on the student directory and that’s really cool. The site is now a lot more diverse.”
Within the first week online, the website received almost 3,900 visits, including viewers from across the globe. Through Google Analytics, the college is able to track the geological statistics of visitors to the site, which has been viewed from countries including the United Kingdom, Australia, India and China.
“The faculty members are very well connected with associates across the world. We’re excited to be rolling out on a global scale,” Toops said.
Google Analytics also tracks the most popular pages, allowing for notification of which aspects of the site need improvements. The site uses a content management system that allows edits and changes to be taken care of in-house, instead of depending on a website manager. This allows the college to update time-relevant information and photos at their own leisure.
We’re always collecting feedback,” Toops said. “The website is a dynamic tool for students, faculty, staff. We’re happy to be with the times.”
The site also better appeals to students through popular portals such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
“We try to increase enrollment by targeting a specific audience, what drives people based on the selling point,” Burt said.
“Colleges are always evaluating what to change with their websites to help incoming students,” Burt said.
“UCF Marketing has been wonderful to work with; they were truly professional,” Toops said. “We appreciate support from the faculty and staff during the process.”
The website is available here.