New Trier website gets a facelift

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On Feb. 17, New Trier launched a new website, its first update in eight years.
The website contains many new features, including mobile compatibility, a new home screen/menu bar, and individualized pages for each class. The project head was Nicole Dizon, Director of Communications.
“More than a year ago, we began talking to parents, students, staff members, and community members about what they would like to see in the New Trier website,” said Dizon.
“Our old website was developed more than eight years ago, and we know the way that people interact with the Internet on devices like tablets and smartphones has changed greatly in that time.”
The website was crafted with new features, to adapt to different devices.
“One of the most notable improvements is the responsive design. Now our website will change to best fit whatever device someone is using, be it a PC, tablet, or smartphone. We did not have this function with the old website,” said Scott Spyrison, New Trier’s Enterprise Applications Manager.
In addition, the website now features a link to Google Maps, which should help students figure out ways to get to places from New Trier.
“Someone on a phone trying to find a location can easily go right to a GPS app,” said Dizon.
Students around New Trier had critical, yet differing responses.
“I don’t like it,” said junior Michael Burds. “The old [website] was better and I don’t like the changes that they made. I was used to the old one.”
“It’s definitely an improvement and looks a lot more modern,” said junior Samuel Gagerman. “It’s neatly organized which helps. I think that it is a little bland on certain pages and could use some eye candy. But overall, I like the minimalistic design.”
While there was some buzz around New Trier that there was an official New Trier app coming, Dizon shot down such rumors.
“We do not have any plans for a New Trier app at this time,” she said. “While we considered that option, we instead decided to make the website with responsive design, meaning it has the look and feel of a mobile app without making users download an additional app on their smartphone or tablet.”
The new website is a welcomed sight for most New Trier students, but the Wi-Fi remains a hot issue. Students still have difficulties connecting to Wi-Fi, but Spyrison claims that New Trier is still working to fix it.
Spyrison said, “We have made many upgrades to New Trier’s Wi-Fi at both campuses over the last few years and will continue to make adjustments as needed, particularly as we construct our new addition at the Winnetka Campus.”
A nice addition to the site was class pages. This allows the ability to sift through key information and events based on each class. For instance, there are testing dates for juniors, and Academic Life Night dates for 8th graders/incoming freshman.
Emergency notifications have also been upgraded from the previous website. Instead of the slow, dramatic reveal at the top of the website, the new website will make emergency notifications more prominent and quick to show up.
The site will display the notification as full-screen, so it has to be acknowledged before continuing on to the normal website.

“The website was in development for about a year, beginning with focus groups involving many different users, through weekly design meetings and the migration of content to the new website,” said Spyrison.