UW, Bothell Website Project
Dr. Sandeep Krishnamurthy
April 30, 2001
Emmanuel Chavez Mapaye
In efforts to improve UWB’s Nursing Website, our team began its preliminary research by observing their current web site and interviewing Dr. Anne Laustau of the Nursing department. Our initial observations with her insight and cooperation allowed us to appreciate what sorts of features their site should have. Next, we devised a survey to administer to the site’s users. The survey was administered to both nursing staff and students and offered a valuable opportunity for more in-depth research. After careful analysis, we devised recommendations that we hope will enable the site to better achieve its goals.
At present the UWB Nursing website is very plain lacking the proper design and site structure. There is definitely a lack of information for both current and prospective students. The website fails to reflect the close atmosphere between student and faculty members. In addition, the website fails to show differentiating factors of the UW Bothell Nursing department from its Seattle counterpart.
After seeing the Nursing website for the first time, we were surprised by the deficiency of information in the site. There was general information, but nothing substantial for current students and prospective students. Although, there were a few benefits to the Bothell site, like the option of applying online and finding the names and title of faculty members. However, there is no contact information for the faculty or anyone else in the department. The only helpful information for students was regarding admission and graduation requirements, and the transfer guide from surrounding community colleges.
The basic design pitfall of the UW Bothell Nursing website is the simplicity of its design. The entire Nursing website contains just basic textual information. The site doesn’t have any form of pictures and graphic art making it dull and uninteresting. Having pictures of staff members and students will bring life to the page and will display the close-knit relationship between faculty and students. In addition, each page should share a common design template to keep uniformity and professionalism.
One other pitfall of the Nursing website is it’s lack of site structure. Although the homepage carries a table of contents, each subsequent page lacks the proper navigational links to access all other web pages. In order to become a more user-friendly website, there needs to be link bar in a uniform location of every page. This will provide easier navigation for users and should prevent user frustration resulting from dead-end links.
A design principle that will prevent user disorientation is having screens of information instead of long scrollable web pages. Information should be presented above the fold of the computer screen to prevent over-scrolling by the end user. The above the fold format should be applied at the homepage and every subsequent web page. An exception to this rule is when the information can’t be feasibly displayed at once in the entire screen (ex: long program requirements).
Interview Professor Loustau
Our interview with Dr. Ann Loustau was very insightful. She was eager to help and seemed genuinely interested in developing a web presence for her Nursing Schools. Our interview began by asking her to describe how she feels about their current site. In response, she generally thinks that their current site is “okay”. She does feels the current site provides relevant information but could be more “user-friendly”. Next we asked her questions pertaining to possible site improvements. She specifically addressed the following:
- A “Spiffier” image through page layout and photographs
- A thorough & updated descriptions of the “articulation agreements” with related community colleges
- A page for faculty profiles to “showcase” the departments knowledgeable staff
- A page to exemplify UWB, Nursing community projects
- A page to promote graduate school
Professor Loustau’s input present fundamental information for us as we began our more detailed research.
A questionnaire was sent out to the nursing department faculty of UW Bothell.
We received some very interesting replies. Some of the faculty didn’t even know about the existence of the Nursing web site or ways to access it. A common response from the faculty members was, "Could you tell me how to access (website) and I will check it?" This indicates that a majority of current professors do not utilize the nursing website.
However, we received extensive feedback regarding possible contents for the Nursing website. The faculty stressed the importance of promoting the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) and Masters in Nursing (MSN) program. Faculty members would also like to have detailed self-profiles posted in the faculty web page. Examples of profile contents would be their philosophy, accessibility, coordination with community colleges, and work with local healthcare agencies. It is also highly important for professors to have the ability to display their research papers and work online. This information will help attract undergraduate and graduate students to the Nursing program.
With regards to prospective students, the faculty thinks that having updated information about the Nursing program, articulation agreements, and application guidance on the website is vital for successfully recruiting new students. Since the program depends on local community colleges for the majority of their incoming students, it is very crucial to have up to date articulation agreements with these community colleges
As for current students web page interests, the faculty believes that adding resources like student scholarships, graduate program decision-making, job sources, and links to appropriate academic resources like Health-links and the American Psychological Association (APA) would be beneficial to the success of current students.
Based on our survey with current Nursing students, we primarily find that the majority of the UWB, Nursing students have never been, and didn’t even know, there was a Nursing website. Many of the response we got were, “What website?” or “Where do you access the website?” Students that were aware of the website felt that it lacked adequate information to help them in pursuing and finishing their degrees.
In general students emphasized the importance of having current information about classes. Many felt that having updated class prerequisites, availability, and faculty information would be helpful during registration periods. A lot of students have also expressed interest in getting more information about the Masters in Nursing program; what it entails, and which fields of Nursing it will specialize in. Finally miscellaneous items that students would like to see implemented in the website include: reminders about to-do items for upcoming quarters, current job listings, scholarships, program changes, and a Nursing student list and contact information,
Based on the analysis of our personal interview, survey, and questionnaires, we have come up with the following recommendations for the web development team. The Nursing faculty should have their bios on the website as well as background information about the Nursing program. The website should contain information about the benefits of going to UWB, and who the program is really designed for. All the information should be easily accessible and concise because Nursing students are extremely busy and do not have time to excavate information. The program is very community based and the site should communicate that message with pictures of people, and just pictures in general. For current students, the nursing handbook should be accessible either in the hardcopy form or as an online document, as it is a living document.
Nurses in general must do an abundance of research, therefore, the APA resource guide should be easily accessible, as well as, other resources frequently used in research. Articulation agreements should be visible and must be updated often to illustrate the ease of transfer to the UWB Nursing program. Credits from other colleges that directly transfer over should be posted to inform and simplify the transfer process for prospective students. The prerequisites for the program should be spelled out and easily accessible, and the requirements for classes shown. The program should showcase its flexibly around returning students.
The website should also contain some method of contacting the department as well as individual faculty members. There should be page for frequently asked questions, and the ability to contact other nursing students, both current and alumni. More information on the upcoming Masters of Nursing programs should be offered, including specifics on what the degree could be used for and how to achieve it.
Appendix A. (Information to Have in the Nursing Website)
- Minors associated with nursing
- Information about the different Masters programs
- Pictures with bio/background and email, phone, office number for professors/staff
- More information about the program
- More information available for international students
- Map of campus
- RN BSN
- ADN BSN
- 1 yr full time
- 2 yrs part time
- Transfer after AA
- When and how long I have to take the program to complete
- Nursing program is best in country, geared for the working nurse
- Model of nursing program
- What classes are being taught by whom
- What\When the classes are
- Map out exactly what courses to take and when
- Class schedule
- Classes available
- How long the course is
- What days courses are offered
- What are the associated minors, and what are the additional requirements of those programs, that would go with a nursing major
- More information about the Masters program/what each MSN program entails, what it is, what they do
- Which programs cover what type of nursing—MSN can be a clinical nurse specialist
- Put the handbook online
- More personalized way to connect from home—bought the Uwick, and was outside the modem pool
- List of all the nursing students, and maybe email for communication
- Forms with application
- Having a table of contents on the website
- The difference between the full time and part time program
- Prerequisite courses to get in
- The program and sequence of course work
- Model of nursing program
- To be able to print out the forms for letters of recommendation, applications, and other forms
- Got lost applying online – saving information
- Easy way to register
- Don’t cram too much information on one page, small writing is hard to read, overwhelming amount of options
- Information needs to be concise because Nursing students are very busy
- Didn’t know it existed until today—been here 5 months
- Could use more open space and pictures to break the writing
Appendix B. (Answers to Student Questionnaire)
How did you hear about the program at UW Bothell
Through friends at work
Lived down the street
From the UW main school of nursing website
Worked at the main campus
Used telephone directory to see if the program was available at UWB
Word of mouth
Did my own research called local universities
Where did you get your information about the program
From mailed info
From colleagues who were in the program
Talked to the dean of nursing
What do you know about the program
1yr full time
2yrs part time
not a lot
transfer after AA
After reading all the materials when and how long I have to take the program to complete
Nursing program is best in country, geared for the working nurse
What is the difference between UWB and UWS
UWS is a four-year undergraduate program for nursing
UWB is the Bothell branch campus
Closer to home
UWS is for fresh nurses, UWB is for already nurses
What information do you want to know?
Pictures with bio/background and email, phone, office number for professors/staff
Who is teaching what classes
What\When the classes are
What can you take
How long the course is
What days courses are offered
What are the associated minors, and what are the additional requirements of those programs, that would go with a nursing major
More information about the Masters program/what each MSN program entails, what it is, what they do
Which programs cover what type of nursing—MSN can be a clinical nurse specialist
What information would be beneficial to have in one place
Forms with application
Model of nursing program
Having a table of contents on the website
The difference between the full time and part time program
The program and sequence of course work
Map of campus
Was it easy finding all the information needed to transfer
Fairly—sometimes went through 3 or 4 pages before finding on UWB website
So/So, depends on how computer literate you are
No—took a lot of phone calls to find out which credits I had that counted toward the program
No—Had to meet with counselor to see what is missing and what counted
Would you like to see a UWB Nursing website if so what would be the ideal site
To be able to print out the forms for letters of recommendation, applications, and other forms
Attached to the UWB website
Don’t cram too much information on one page, small writing is hard to read, overwhelming amount of options
I may be too busy to access it
Didn’t know it existed until today—been here 5 months
Minors associated with nursing
Information about the different Masters programs
Map out exactly what courses to take and when
Put the handbook online
Could use more open space and pictures to break the writing
More information about the program
Got lost applying online
Make more information available for international students
Easy way to register
More personalized way to connect from home—bought the Uwick, and was outside the modem pool
List of all the nursing students, and maybe email so we can communicate