A sneak preview of the athletic department’s new website

| Sports Editor

Washington University Athletics

The Washington University athletic department plans to feature its new website layout Thursday. The website includes revamped features, including easier access to video feeds of games and better connection with other Division III sports websites.

The Washington University athletic department plans to launch a brand-new website on Thursday, tweaking the look and functionality of the website’s interface that was last updated in 2008, but with emphasis placed on the unseen inner workings of the website.

Changes include increased connection with other Division III sports websites, direct linkage to players’ biographies from game recaps and other stories, better access to live video feeds of games and faster posting of statistics, photos and results.

According to Chris Mitchell, director of sports information, the process of changing the athletic department website started in August, when the department chose to primarily improve the website’s behind-the-scenes mechanics.

“The most important aspect that we looked at was how the website functions on the back end. We love the look of our current website, but the functionality of it is not perfect,” Mitchell said. “There are eight [University Athletic Association] schools and the UAA website, so there’s nine entities, and seven of the nine will be with this company called Presto Sports.”

This relationship with Presto Sports will cut the amount of time it takes Wash. U. sports fans to find recent UAA news and results.

“For example, when we play [the University of] Chicago in baseball at home, the file will go to our website, Chicago’s website, the UAA website and the NCAA website in one click,” Mitchell said.

While the most emphatic changes to the website are not visual, the website will certainly have a new look.

“We moved the schedule and results up top, so that’s the first thing you see,” Mitchell said. “We feel like a lot of people come to our websites to watch games or to follow games.”

The new site will also help fans see information more quickly once a game or event has ended.

“Every time our team is playing in an event, we are going to cut 10-15 minutes time off by this new website,” Mitchell said. “Where it is really going to save us time is on the weekends, when we have tons of stories to post.”

Another notable change is how fans of the Red and Green can see key news about what is going on in the world of Wash. U. athletics at that very moment with in-game updates. Previously, the main page of the website could only show results once games were over.

“The new part of it is that now we can update it in the back end and show it, like the Bears lead 1-0 in the top of the fourth,” Mitchell said. “In the past, we couldn’t do that. We will have more in-game updates for people on the website as it’s going on.”

Individual players will also see increased attention throughout game stories and recaps, but the website’s changes have been put in place more with the fans in mind. Now, following the Bears’ endeavors on the field, court or diamond will come with more ease and efficiency.

With additional reporting by Nick Kauzlarich.

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