News Release: University News

Aug. 22,  2008

Emory.edu Launches New Look

From Emory Report 

Joining the new faces on campus this fall is a fresh look for the University's virtual front door. A redesigned home page, www.emory.edu, launches this month with more features than ever before.

Vice President of Communications and Marketing Ron Sauder says the makeover was designed with a twofold goal: to represent Emory better both externally and internally.

"It's both an outward facing portal designed to promote Emory to the world, and a very utilitarian working site for the Emory community," Sauder says. "It is Emory's calling card from here to Beijing."

The new site replaces the University's former navigation-based and topically organized home page, created in 2005. "What's transformational about this Web site is that it's much more feature-rich and information-dense," says Executive Web Producer John Mills.

Online visitors will now find rotating feature packages, news and events, and multimedia. Audience-based sections tailor information for the visitor — whether a student, prospective student, staff or faculty member, alumni, parent or patient. Other user-friendly features include a prominently located search and directory button and breadcrumb navigation.

"A radical difference from the former static design is that the content on the new site is fresh all the time," says Mills. "The University's home page is now a reliable, up-to-date source to keep up with what's happening at Emory."

And a new Web events calendar is one of the most important features of the site, says Sauder. The feature-rich solution from Trumba will replace the old Emory public events calendar, www.events.emory.edu, offering a host of benefits for both end users and University event planners.

"More than just a calendar listing, Trumba will facilitate sharing and promotion of events, highlighting the richness of the Emory community," says Sauder.

The redesign is the result of a year-long process deeply informed by research, notes Mills. Emory's Office of Communications and Marketing contracted with Atlanta-based Web development firm Macquarium, headed by alum Marc Adler '95BBA, to lead the redesign.

Input was sought from hundreds of key stakeholders from across the University. Emphasis was put on the discovery process, with choices informed by focus groups, benchmarking and online surveys.

Reflecting the Emory brand throughout, the look and design of Emory's home page is intended to ripple across the University, Mills notes. A template will soon be available for departments, schools and units to develop their Web sites easily and within the same family of design.

"An important objective associated with the redesign was to make it easy for anyone in the University to have a beautiful, professional design that reinforces the Emory brand in a nimble way," says Sauder.

An additional benefit to school, unit and departmental webmasters is a new content management system. It is the first time Emory has had an enterprise-wide CMS, which will unite Emory's estimated 364,000 mostly unconnected Web pages under one umbrella.

"The gift of CMS is its centralized capability to offer a common look, feel and design without the need for departments to go out and hire a Web development company or programmer to manage the site," says Mills.

Mills credits University Technology Services for contributing the vision and execution of marrying the new design with a CMS.

"This is by far the best supported University Web site redesign ever," notes Sauder. "Three divisions — Development and Alumni Relations, Communications and Marketing, and University Technology Services — banded together, each making a major contribution of money and time."

Sauder credits Macquarium "for crafting an absolutely beautiful design and doing a deep dive with our various stakeholder groups to develop user-friendly information architecture."

"[Content management firm] Hannon Hill did a stellar job in implementing the CMS, Cascade Server,"adds Mills.

And the process isn't over. Adjustments will continue to be made based on user feedback to the new design, says Mills, who encourages the campus community to take the online user satisfaction survey while visiting the home page.

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