The launch of the new University homepage on Thursday 12 December marks the completion of Web Phase II.
The new homepage unifies the top level and core web pages under a single look and feel. The course finder is featured more prominently, allowing visitors quick access to our degree programmes as well as key areas within the Study Here section.
Links to Colleges and Schools have been promoted to the homepage. A new tabbed area on the left provides quick access to this new area and to News and Events.
The footer provides quick links to popular areas (as identified by web analytics) without cluttering the main page layout.
To accommodate the exponential growth in the use of mobile devices, the Web Team has purposely opted for a clean look that incorporates subtle usability features; for example, larger hit areas to aid touch screen users. This will support the transition to the next phase of development – delivering a fully responsive website (ie one that will display content elegantly on a wide range of devices).
Universal Information Architecture
The launch of the University’s new homepage and top level web pages means that, for the first time, the entire content of the corporate website is united in a universal information architecture – in other words, visitors to the website can navigate to any other point in the site with a few clicks. This is achieved via ‘global’ (universal) elements, namely the header, footer and breadcrumb.
Study Here & Prospectus
The student recruitment pages are now united under one main tab - Study Here. A range of standalone sites for Open Days and overseas campaigns have been consolidated into this new architecture and the new-look prospectus has an improved layout, enhanced search and better content.
The other key top-level sections of the site Research, Business, Alumni & Giving, News and Events have all been revised and rewritten and integrated into the new architecture.
Web Phase II also delivered the new intranet for University staff, StaffNet. This internal communication hub brings together the useful information staff need - in one place. StaffNet also provides the Communications team with an alternative means of communication to email, reducing the overall amount of messages sent to staff.
Web Phase II - Background to the Project
The Web Phase I project delivered a new homepage and central pages for the institution and Web Phase II was implemented as a continuation of this. Its original remit was to devise and deliver a new information architecture (IA) and design for the three Colleges, Administration and the Library in order to improve the appearance and usability of websites, and to deploy this using the institutional content management system (CMS), OpenText. The project also proposed to deliver a new intranet for University staff.
As work on Phase II progressed, it became clear to the project board that the new global information architecture would necessitate changes to the original Phase I homepage and central pages, and so the scope extended to include these.
Download a full report on the Web Phase II project . This provides a detailed discussion of the rationale, research and development of the new web pages.