After some time and the release of the new visual identity, here comes the new Vlerick website! The address did not change: https://www.vlerick.com/ but the content does. Here is an example of what it currently displays (with Prof. Van den Broeck from Beyonders as first guest star (well another guest star is Sharon Dhadialla from FTMBA2012 in the top banner :-))). Note that all links to the Vlerick website in my previous posts are now broken but I will not fix them: when you call a page that does not exist, you’ll find a nice error page with a search bar and the plan of the website.
As you can see the page is quite looOOOOoong. But everything is there: a menu to the main areas (Programme, Research, Community, etc.), some big news, the latest news, part of the agenda, some shortcuts to videos, the logos of all accreditations (btw it is clever to put them along “rankings”: people could easily mix between them). The bottom contains the classic items about the program, popular searches, etc. Three immediate remarks:
- First it is impossible to quickly get the full agenda. Section “Upcoming events” just contains the three next ones. For your information, the full agenda is here.
- Then the classic links to social websites are there. I was waiting for them :-) Each bottom of page also contains some links to share on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. The only drawback is that there is no hint when the mouse hover over these small icons. “f” or the Twitter bird are quite obvious (for someone who use these services). However what does the kind of white nunchaku on green background mean? (answer: even more sharing possibilities, with text legends this time).
- Finally the website does not adapt gracefully to mobile devices. It’s just the same version, zoomed out. In a nutshell: no mobile version. Note however that http://m.vlerick.com/ does in fact respond (a 403 error but might still be the sign of something being prepared).
The previous motto (“we don’t teach – we develop what’s already inside you”) disappeared. Instead we have a “Brand Drivers” page (which is very different than “Mission and Values” that the URL suggest as Prof. Verweire of Strategy told us). There we learn that the new drivers of the school are: International (first! FT ranking officers, please notice this!), Vital, Open and Pragmatic (you draw your own conclusion when you compare with the previous values: synthesis, sense of entrepreneurship, integrity and autonomy, respect for diversity and customer orientation).
The content of pages is approximately what you expect to read from a school website. One nice thing however is that most pages have some kind of “owner”: a person responsible or at least who you can contact in order to get more information about the content of the page. There is a picture of the person. But what is even more interesting is that all means of communication are presented, if available. For instance Prof. Herman Van den Broek has links to his research page, his blog (well, in this case: the HR blog) and his twitter account (the last tweets are even displayed). Those who have a (corporate) Skype account will also have this link (like our dear Nina – user ID
ninawalravens_vlerick – on the Executive MBA programme page). Idem for LinkedIn (more common than any other social presence, btw).
The library page is still there. The default page from http://www.vlerick.com/library is in Dutch (which seems logical – until you come from a page written in English, it might be surprising). On that page you will also switch back to the old, green favicon (the green V being the logo of the webpage) ; another page lost in transition? ;-) Of course the list of e-resources (like EBSCO) is still there. It struck me that 5 out of 9 links to Business and Management Literature are to Open Access resources. It might be interesting to hear more about how the school see this Open Access movement fit into their business and businesses in general.
I was also eager to see the official presentation of the new Executive MBA on the website. Here it is. Again a long vertical content :-) to present the “Matrix”. I don’t know if they will keep the Apollo name but the Leuven campus will only see week-end PTMBA. On the other hand Brussels will now welcome students on Monday + Tuesday. Will the content change? It’s difficult to say: labels of courses changed but how to know the content? In the old website we had a short description of each course (which was helpful to understand what were the topics that will be seen when preparing admission tests – ymmv). For instance I guess “Using & Interpreting Data” is the new “Fundamentals of Business Statistics”, “Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability” the new “Corporate Responsibility and Business Ethics” or “Understanding the Economic Context” the new “Economics”.
When it went out, I really liked the Vlerick Knowledge website. It is still there (although I couldn’t find it via the new website ; I had to type the correct URL: http://knowledge.vlerick.com/). It didn’t changed, neither its format nor its content since August 2012 in fact …
And last but not least: does the new website – with all these social web features – made blogging more popular at Vlerick? Unfortunately I don’t think so. You still have the outdated Dean’s blog (ok, there is an official letter announcing the new brand in 2012 but I don’t consider 1 post in 2 years exactly as “up-to-date”). You still have the active Masters’ blog and the SEC blog for instance. But I couldn’t find the general page redirecting to all blogs. But of course you should not dictate how staff should use web 2.0!
Some “before-after” for the end? Just click on the following images to enlarge (before is on the left, after = now is on the right)