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SUNY Canton unveils streamlined mobile website

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CANTON — The price is right and the sight is nice, especially on a wireless device.

Though it looks much the same on a desktop computer, mobile device users will take notice of SUNY Canton’s faster, streamlined Internet presence this year.

The university recently launched a slimmed-down version of its website to appeal to a growing audience of smartphone and tablet users.

“It is a more readable, streamlined design,” said Travis G. Smith, Web designer. “Our current website works fairly well on iPads and does OK on iPhones, but we wanted to simplify it.”

The website design was done in house over a six-month period, so SUNY Canton did not incur any additional costs for the upgrade.

Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, more people are using tablets and smartphones to access the Internet. Mobile users, especially among college-age early adopters, are accounting for an increasing percentage of hits, Mr. Smith said.

“It has gone up about 10 percent,” he said. “We started noticing an increase about two years ago. It was a subtle increase, but the past summer, there was a big jump.”

During 2012, the college’s website had more than 2.2 million hits. Mobile traffic accounted for approximately 200,000 visits, or about 10 percent of overall traffic, and usage was up approximately 6 percent from 2011.

When designing the new site, precedence was given to the most popular pages, Mr. Smith said.

“We looked at the things that most people were clicking on,” he said. “Admissions, athletics, academic programs, our current news — also, most importantly, our faculty and staff directory, so you can look up someone’s name or email quickly on your mobile phone.”

Some online functions, such as course websites, registration and admissions, will not be available to mobile device users.

Mr. Smith said it has been two years since the university’s last major website overhaul.

“It’s been a while since we’ve done a major redesign,” he said. “We generally go through incremental design; we make minor changes throughout the year. If you look at Google and CNN, generally they make subtle changes as the year progresses.”

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