WSO team unveils redesigned page

The Williams Students Online (WSO) team took the campus by surprise last Saturday when it unveiled a new WSO homepage. Largely a project led by Benjamin Wood ’08, the head of the WSO team, the updated homepage has been entirely redesigned and includes a series of fresh features. Wood explained that he made the changes in order to reflect “WSO as a student organization rather than just a Web site.”

Among these changes is a block of links at the top of the page including discussions, announcements and rides. Less prominent links are now placed on the bottom of the page where they are divided into categories to facilitate searches.

The new design also offers equal space to the discussions, rides, and lost and found sections in order to encourage students to use these services more often.

Following the unexpected launch of the new homepage, a discussion on WSO took off with student response to these modifications. “We thought that rolling out a radically different design and forcing [students] to use it would be more effective at eliciting suggestions,” Wood said.

Several student criticisms have led to revisions of the page, including a reduction in the size of links at the top of the page.

The staff at WSO also revealed a completely redesigned Factrack. “Factrack had been a very important project, especially for the new class of 2011 members who did not have access to it,” Wood said.

Changes made include the ability to sort through comments by course as well as by department and professor. Additionally, students can now either agree or disagree with previously posted comments.

This project involved collaboration with College Council, as members of WSO worked with Jon Prigoff ’08, president of Wood Neighborhood, and Lane Wang ’11, Armstrong representative. “The role of CC was to create a policy for Factrack while WSO worked with the actual programming of the site,” Prigoff said. “If you visit the site now, there will be a policy that you must agree to before proceeding.” The policy states the purpose of Factrack and the responsibility of the users to post only truthful and appropriate comments, which while understood by most, had never been formalized in writing.

CC also decided to designate a student moderator who will have the ability to delete comments that are judged to be unsuitable or irrelevant. Students can still flag comments that they feel are inappropriate, which will then be reviewed by the moderator.

As of now the moderators are Prigoff and Lang, but when the new council takes over in March, the senior class representative will take over the position.

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