The St. Ambrose University Athletics Department has unveiled a new website for fans of the Fighting Bees men's and women's teams.
SAU Sports Information Director Brian Thiessen said the new site at saubees.com will offer easier access to information sports fans typically seek, as well as a more visually pleasing look.
"It's a refreshing change," Thiessen said. "The new site is more cohesive and makes more sense. With the website being a big part of my job, this makes my job more fun and fulfilling, to have a website you are proud of and that the university can be proud of."
The new site was developed for St. Ambrose by SIDHelp, the same company that formats sites for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, the Midwest Collegiate Conference and, now, every MCC member school.
Adam Bickle, SAU director of online strategy and web applications, said the new site is mobile-friendly, but unapologetically stressed that visitors won't find some features other websites offer.
"The current trend for collegiate athletic websites is to include every bell and whistle, which results in a very busy site and a poor user experience," Bickle said. "We tried to keep the layout as clean as possible. Every online visitor comes to our website with a goal in mind. We want them to complete that goal as fast as possible. For example, a decent percentage of our repeat visitors are coming to the site to check scores and schedules. This is why we decided to include both of these features 'above the fold.'"
Thiessen said the homepage of saubees.com could eventually feature live scoring updates and a weekly spotlight on a featured Bees athlete.
"We're hoping to make updates and improvements as the year goes along," he said. "It's a work in progress."
As is, the new website will be an asset for Fighting Bees coaches.
"The website is one of the primary recruiting tools they use," Thiessen said. "It's often the first thing about us recruits will see. They want something exciting."