University Launches New Main Website

Updates include more visual, interactive and student-generated content, better mobile experience.

new website
September 26, 2016

The George Washington University unveiled a new main website that responds to evolving web trends—bringing in more fresh and compelling video, photos and student-generated social media content while updating and streamlining information, making it easier to find and more compatible with mobile devices.

“Having a strong web presence has become increasingly important in recruiting a high-quality, diverse student body and engaging with the university community,” said Leah Rosen, B.B.A. ’96, M.T.A. ’02, associate vice president of Marketing and Creative Services. “Updating the main university website was a priority for our team this year.”

One of the main goals of the new site was a focus on more video, photo and interactive content that tells stories about the GW experience, including testimonials from the GW community and ample user-generated content. The site will allow the university to easily add or spotlight content that is most important to the GW community at a given time—from on-campus hallmark experiences like move in and graduation to the national events that take place in GW’s backyard, like Inauguration Day.

Prospective and current students, parents, staff and faculty will be able to find content most relevant to them with an audience-based navigation tool. Faculty and staff now have a dedicated page that serves as a one-stop shop for commonly requested information and resources. The university’s most-visited content, such as email and calendars, will also be featured prominently.

Viewing the homepage from a mobile device—which accounts for more than a third of user traffic—will also be a better experience with the new site.

“The web changes at such a rapid pace that in the last four years mobile phone usage has skyrocketed and people are consuming massive amounts of photo and video,” said Jon Hussey, managing director of digital marketing strategy. “We strive to stay on top of those trends and even push to be trendsetters."

The homepage is a fully in-house endeavor by GW’s Marketing and Creative Services team, within the Division of External Relations, and the Division of Information Technology. Staff researched websites of other universities as well as leading sites from other industries, shot new photos and videos, and developed all new content—with input from stakeholders across the university—for the entire site as well as new design elements consistent with the university’s visual identity.