It is hard to believe it has been 2 1/2 years since the home page of umn.edu was redesigned. I had just joined University Relations in April of 2008 and the redesign was in full swing. By October 2008, the current home page was launched. Since that time, we have been tracking usage, sharpening our coding skills, looking at innovative ways to tell a story, and refining how to best deliver electronic information.
It seems it all comes down to: Delivering the right information in the right format at the right time for the right audience.
This is a huge vision. But, it is one we are proud to be taking a step closer to with the latest redesign of the umn.edu home site by:
- Delivering a customized experience by allowing individuals to self-select an " audience view." While a common option for many corporate websites, the University of Minnesota will be a leader in the field of higher education by meeting the growing expectations of website visitors to identify the type of information they want to see.
- Helping visitors find information more quickly and easily by highlighting upcoming events and providing more areas for stories, hot topics, and news.
- Streamlining navigation by bringing the most-accessed items near the top of the page.
- Increasing usability and support for mobile devices.
- Reducing number of clicks through consolidation of home pages for sites including faculty, staff, and parent.
Over the past few months, many of you have had a chance to see design direction for the new site. And, I realize many of you have not. So, without further adieu, I invite you to take a sneak peek of the new home page: Design Direction (pdf).
From developing the project plan in August 2010 to kicking-off our fourth type of usability, we have been working diligently to create a virtual face that best meets the needs of our stakeholders including students, donors & alumni, faculty, staff, and more.
The new home page is scheduled to launch at the end of May 2011. But, in the meantime, I plan on providing more frequent updates about the project. If you have a specific question or would like to talk, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!