University of Minnesota
University Relations
Our Brand: How to Convey It

Our Brand: How to Convey It.

March 2011 Archives

Time flies when you are having fun

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It is hard to believe it has been 2 1/2 years since the home page of 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 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 I would love to hear from you!


Examining eCommunications webinars - March 2011 update

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Since starting the series in August 2010, more than 300 people have registered for the webinars. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and we are excited to be more than half through the series.

There have been a few shifts in the schedule and the next webinar will be April 26 at 10 a.m. The topic will be "Less is More: Writing for the Web." You may recall this session was originally scheduled for February but due to circumstances beyond our control was canceled. But - no worries - the speakers have agreed to participate in April. Round of applause for the most excellent Office of Communications and Advancement in OIT. Thank you Chris Goodland and Chris Moellering!

If you are new to the webinars, here's the scoop:

Who: Anyone can attend (University students/staff/faculty or the general public)
What: Examining eCommunications webinars. Each 45-minute presentation will focus specifically on online communication as it relates to the University.
Where: On the web
When: August 2010 - June 2011; 10 a.m. CDT
Why: Learn about new best practices, glean tips and tricks, and ask questions of your colleagues all from the comfort of your own chair.
How: Attendance is FREE with registration. Want to receive reminders of upcoming webinars? Send an email to with subject line "Webinar Reminder" and we'll be sure to give you ample notice.

Here's how the remainder of the series is shaping up:

Less is More: Writing for the Web by Chris Goodland and Chris Moellering, OIT

May 24, 2011
Sneak peek of new home page by Jennie Lijewski, University Relations

June 28, 2011
Tabbed search and keyword by Jeremy Casper & Pete Wiringa, University Relations

July 26, 2011
Events calendar by Jeremy Casper, University Relations