It’s part of a sweeping overhaul that is intended to make the website easier to use, more accessible from different devices, and showcase the university’s activities and accomplishments to its numerous and varied audiences.
“A lot of people invested a great deal of thought and effort into creating this new website,” says Karen Brzoska, director of MediaVision and Web Development in I&IT. “We hope that it will prove to be successful in providing our communities the information they need. This is really the beginning. Our website is a living document. With the new content management system, we will be better positioned to keep the website an accurate representation of the university.”
The current site was introduced in 2009. While it met the university’s needs at the time, campus leaders wanted to take advantage of new technologies and web design standards. For example, the new website will allow departments to update content from any internet browser using the content management system. It also will automatically adjust to computer, tablet and smartphone screen sizes.
The most visible changes will appear on the home page as well as targeted landing pages, which will be unveiled in May. Along with the home page redesign, a new consistent header and footer will appear on other web pages as conversion into the new content management system occurs.
Although situations may arise where the university uses the home page to communicate short-term emergency notices or news to current students, faculty and staff, it will focus upon reaching different audiences who may not be familiar with the campus or the services available.
The university’s goal is to help prospective undergraduates and their families find information about the admissions process and university more easily. In addition to current faculty, staff and students, the website will provide distinct entry points for visitors, the community, alumni and supporters, as well as those interested in the College of Extended University.
“The university has many distinct audiences, and I think there is something for everyone in this new website design,” says Uyen Mai, executive director of Public Affairs. “The team looked at rebuilding the site from our users’ perspectives. We made every effort to produce a user-friendly design with clear navigational pathways and refreshed content.”
The web technical team will update additional pages and sites focusing on current student, faculty and staff needs in later stages. The team is working with a task force with representation from across the campus. It is employing professional project management standards, following best practices for web design and testing, and using data from the campus and existing web pages.
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