Web Communication: Two success stories from the Fall 2014 semester
Web Communication (COMM 386) is one part web design, one part writing, and a whole lot of creative problem solving. Each semester, students work with Dr. Jonathan Groves, associate professor of communication, to create or redesign a website. It’s a challenging course, but students Desirae Fowler and Chloe Foster prove the outcomes are worth the effort.
Desirae Fowler, a senior marketing and management major, accepted the challenge of redesigning a website for Stand Against Trafficking, a local coalition established in Springfield, Missouri, that strives to raise awareness of human trafficking in the U.S. Since the group had a working website, Desirae had to make sure it remained usable while updating its design and content.
An additional challenge was finding the best way to present the topic and relevant content without exploiting the issue.
” I am not an expert on human trafficking, so it was difficult to decide what content should be on the website and how it should be displayed due to sensitive nature of the issue. You want to pull the audience in with emotional appeals, but you don’t with to exploit anyone or the issue. It was hard finding the perfect balance.”
Desirae is proud of the site she created. The homepage features statistics that make readers think and she developed a variety of pages — “Get educated” “Take a stand” and “Make a difference” — that allow visitors to access the information they need in just a few clicks.
“My hard work paid off and I’m pleased with my website, though there is always room for improvements. It’s gratifying helping others and I’m happy I could help the Stand Against Trafficking coalition redesign its website.”
Now that she has completed Web Communication, Desirae is certain her experience in this area will be useful in her professional career.
“Not only have I experimented with programs that many businesses utilize, but I worked closely with a client and built a website around their mission and needs. Being able to maintain professionalism is important in my job.”
Student-athlete Chloe Foster, an advertising and public relations major who plays on Drury’s volleyball team, came up with the idea for the Drury Volleyball “Go Behind the Scenes” website after a conversation with her coach.
“My coaches mentioned that they wanted a way for recruits to get to know the team when we aren’t available to meet with them. I wanted to create a site that recruits could visit to learn what it is like to be a college athlete, and where they could get to know the players on more personal level.”
Chloe’s website features profiles of team members, a Q/A page where recruits can learn more about Drury volleyball, and a behind the scenes look at the team. She’s pleased that the website can be an important asset to the team during the recruitment process.
In addition to helping the team, she also gained a personal benefit.
“I can take the skills I learned in class and use them in a future job. Knowing how to build a website and create a web presence is important because the internet is how people get their information now, and many businesses need people that can help them do this.”
Download an informative handout on the Web Communication and Design minor.