Marywood goes mobile with new smart phone website

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Kelly Rickert, Assistant News Editor

Marywood has gone mobile. The brand new Marywood mobile website launched on October 26. The Office of Web Development designed the site to be more easily accessible for smart phone users.

Smart phone users who access the Marywood website from their phones are now automatically redirected to mobile.marywood.edu. The site features larger, easy-to-read links for the small screens on these devices.

The links on the mobile site homepage include news and events, admissions information, visitor information, directory searches, athletics information, and on-campus information, such as a daily dining menu, a campus map, and campus safety information.

Sister Kathleen Burns, I.H.M., director of web development, Mark Pitely, lead web developer of the project, Amy Fedele, lead graphic designer of the project, Daniel Sputa, graduate assistant, and Todd Pousley, web content director for the Marketing and Communications Department developed the site over the last six months.

According to Pitely, the team went through several variants of the site before one was chosen. “The goal was to find a model that was service and task-oriented,” he said.

During development, they even held a student focus group in order to find out what Marywood students wanted included on the mobile site. The general response from this group was that they wanted a link to the dining menu. So, the dining menu is one of the easiest links to find from the home page.

The team also wanted to make the site quick, efficient and easily accessible to anyone from any mobile device. Unlike other mobile websites, the Marywood mobile site does not require any downloads or apps in order to work, making it simple for people to access it.

According to the PEW Internet American Life Project, 81% of colleges are not yet mobile and 15% do not even have plans to go mobile. This means that Marywood is on the relatively short list of colleges and universities working on mobile web development.

When creating the site, the web development team used a platform that will change as technology changes. “As technology moves forward, what we have selected will be able to move forward with it,” said Sr. Burns.

Pitely said that, despite having finished the initial creation of the mobile site, they are not finished with the project. The team is looking for feedback from the Marywood community. Students, faculty and staff can leave comments via a feedback form available at mobile.marywood.edu/home/feedback.