New UST home page, top-level pages go online July 9

New UST home page, top-level pages go online July 9

From Information Resources and Technologies

As announced in the May 9, Bulletin Today, we have been working on a new design for the UST home page and top-level sites. The date for launch of the new site has been set for Monday, July 9.

We have worked in close partnership with University Relations, and results from stakeholder interviews revealed that a new design was necessary to provide for more marketing space on the home page as well as to solve some essential navigational and usability issues. In addition, it is becoming industry standard to redesign a university's home pages every three years or so to take advantage of new technologies to stay competitive. We have included the top-level pages in this redesign, which we call the "core design."

The process began with data collection and research, including stakeholder interviews and an extensive competitive analysis; conception and visual design, based on analysis design and information architecture, was formed; presentations to stakeholders and UST’s academic and administrative leadership and their feedback was incorporated into the site; lastly, we produced the site and conducted usability testing.

The home page includes the following features and changes:

  • Lighter, cleaner design with a large rotating photo.
  • Changing primary navigation to our main sections of the university.
  • Adding subnavigation.
  • Adding two to four marketing channels.
  • Increasing the prominence of the audience paths.

The "core design" includes the following features:

  • A "drawer" that will drop down for news, events and directories, A-Z index and a tools page to give quick access to the most frequently used tools in a smooth and easy way to interact with technology.
  • Improved access to colleges and schools, majors and minors. Allows for the casual visitor to peruse the whole site quickly or go directly to their destination.
  • Landing pages for each primary navigation section that pull out main features for each area and provide directional links and news feeds when present.
  • A richer purple that will coordinate with more sites.
  • A cleaner footer, including a link to important RSS feeds on campus.

New header and footer across the university:

  • In addition to theses changes, every Web site that is managed in the Collage content management system will receive the new UST header and footer.

What you can do
We are very excited about the new home page and core design, and feedback has shown it to be easier to navigate and find important information. Even with the most thorough process something is always missed, and improvements can always be made.

Please spread the word that change is coming, and after the new home page's launch if you find something that should change, please let us know. Send your feedback (including URL and thorough description of your suggestion or problem) to the IRT Tech Desk, (651) 962-6230.

IRT looks forward to working with the UST community on the continual evolution of UST's Web environment; together we can reach the WebSPACE project’s goal of making our Web presence a first-class communication channel.