Months of design, coding, programming, and testing are finally over. Thursday afternoon, May 26, we launched the new U of M home page redesign featuring the ability to choose from seven different audience views, not to mention the default or "no preference" view.
Choose Your View
It's no secret that the University's home page has to provide information for both internal and external audiences and that each person coming to the site could wear more than one hat depending on what they're looking for on any particular day.
With that in mind, we established seven different views--Current Students, Donors & Alumni, Faculty, Future Students, Parent, Sports Fans, and Staff--to help our audiences quickly link to what they need. For example, if you identify yourself as "Staff," you will see a home page view customized to your needs. The feature story area will have stories that may be of particular interest to staff, mixed in with the same stories that are found on the U's "no preference," or default home page.
On the right side of the staff view, you'll find links to Brief, the University's UMNews website, Government and Community Relations, Email, and Employee Self Service.
Roll over the drop down menus at the top of the page and you'll see the standard links that can be found on all views along with additional links that are helpful specifically for University staff.
Take a look at the "spotlight" sections near the bottom of the page to find events, links to Internal Communications, Civil Service, People and more.
Each of the seven views has the same breakdown of sections on the home page. So for those who identify with both staff and alumni views, for example, the similarity between the page layouts should make the transition from one view to the other fairly simple.
What Didn't Change?
Some things remain the same. The links to One Stop and myU, in the upper right corner, are still there. As is the search bar, which doubles as a search for University websites and a search for people. The links to all the campuses are still at the top of the page and links to maps, parking, directories, and contact the U are still in the footer.
On the Leading-Edge...?
We've looked, and we've noticed a few other colleges and universities with some capcity to change views based on audience, but we are the first major university to launch a home page audience view of this scope. We know there are going to be some necessary tweeks and a few growing pains. We're prepared to adjust and we want your input. But...we think we're on the right track.
Take a few minutes to jump through the new site. Change your view. Change it again. Then use the "Tell us what you think" link in the footer to send us your comments.