Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Archetype 5 (A5) has been chosen to redesign the main University of Arizona website, coordinating efforts with UITS. They have created a public blog where they will keep up-to-the-date information regarding the progress of the redesign.
- Website due to be completed by Winter 2008, a main priority of the UA President and VP of External Relations.
Jason Howard from Archetype 5 wanted to meet with the UA Web Developers group to:
- Discuss development aspects
- Get our opinion on what tools to inclue
- Discuss CMS (starting from scratch or using an existing CMS such as Drupal)
- Go over results of Focus Groups
Overall Perception of Arizona.edu:
UA Web Dev Group comments on current site:
- Flash intro - cactus
- Fresh content (news/images)
- Considering there is so much content, info is easy to find
- Phonebook & Quicklinks (2 of the features most used)
- Colors/Identity (UA)
- Consisted of over 150 people
- Different Audiences: UA Staff, Current Students, Prospective Students (High School), Parents
Interesting Outcomes of Focus Group Testing:
- Not a single focus group uses Quicklinks, most rely on search feature instead. Semantics? Should it be 'My Links'?
- No one saw the 'Show Less/Show More' feature
- Students (Current and Prospective) want the website to be customizable. Information specific to them.
- Prospective Studens liked content of current site, not design though. But once they are accepted/registered they find navigating the site difficult.
- Prospective Students believe ASU makes more of an effort with their website.
- Outcome: Quantity of UA if better than website shows it to be
- 20% of parents go to site daily. Events/News - telling their kids what is going on on campus
- Students don't bookmark webpages because they are often using different computers.
College website reviewed at UA Web Dev Meeting (UA Web Dev & Focus Group comments):
- Notre Dame - http://www.nd.edu/
- Homepage is slow loading
- Look is closer to news site, not academic looking, commercial
- Info below the fold
- Dark, heavy, hard to read
- Texas A & M - http://www.tamu.edu/
- academic feel
- layout not very adaptable
- University of Chicago - http://www.uchicago.edu/
- Positive reaction, professional look
- Current & Prospective students thought this was a 'homerun'
- Liked Search function (liked Yahoo Type Ahead first, but this was a close second)
- Boston University - http://www.bu.edu/
- Positive Response
- Clean Layout
- Students liked the layout of Schools & Colleges page, liked knowing when they were leaving main site
Content Management System:
- Should it be used in new site? Which CMS? Is it worth it to build own CMS? Costs? Support?
- Archetype 5 and UITS will make decision.
Analytics of Current Site:
- 50,000/month repeat visitors. Don't care about news/upcoming events, mainly use student link, webmail and search box.
- 400,000 - 450,000 unique visitors/month. Top level pages.
- 5,000 from China
- 4,000 from Mexico
- 3,000 from Canada
- 10,000 page views/per day