When I logged on to the Missouri State University Web site Aug. 10, I found a completely reworked design in front of my eyes.
It came as a surprise to me and my coworkers, which is not entirely unsurprising considering the quiet nature of the new site rollout.
Today I spoke with Sara Clark, director of the the university’s Web designers – the Office of Web and New Media. She told me the design change was announced back in March via the office’s blog. The office also held an open forum on campus to announce the impending changes. However, there was never an official MSU news release.
The university announced the new Web site design had gone live via its Twitter account Aug. 9. It was the first redesign since the school changed its name in 2005, Clark said.
What once was arguably a more straightforward site is now replaced with gloss, huge moving pictures, a drop-down menu across the top and a Twitter-style news and calendar section. It is complete with a new slogan, “Follow your passion, find your place.”
Clark told me the designers wanted to use available content to make the site as user-friendly as possible.
In the realm of technology, it is commonplace for the new to replace the old and the old to be lost in the bits, bytes and pieces of the past.
As I only recently graduated from the university during the July 30 summer commencement (and the old site was still in place at that time), it feels as though the new Web site is mirroring my own situation. Out with the old brand of student, in with the new – which is funny considering my sister is starting as a freshman during the fall semester.
I will, however, say that newness, especially in technology, must be embraced, for it simply is not going away.
I think it is in the best interest of MSU and people in general to remember this. We live in a world of constant adaptation and re-adaptation, consistent innovation, changing ideals and practices.
A new Web site is just a finely tuned example. All around us the world is changing due to the Internet.
Businesses are moving products to the Web, people are flocking to the computer for communication – the realization of these changes are creating a plethora of new ideas and new beliefs.
But this change from small scale communication to true mega-communication is not to be feared.
Already it has led to better understanding among the world’s peoples, and with better understanding comes better cooperation.
One example might be someone from the United States logging on to their computer to randomly start talking with someone from Russia or China or New Zealand or wherever via Skype or Chatroulette.
Little things add up to be big things in the long run.
Though it would be a stretch to state that one school Web site change is a reflection of the broader changes at work by the Internet and its users, it is important for our country’s higher institutions to get on board with the changing state of the world.
In this reporter’s point of view, it seems that from here on mankind and technology will only continue to be interwoven.