Redesigning Arizona.edu

Date: 
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)
  • Temperature
  • Considering there is so much content, info is easy to find
  • Phonebook & Quicklinks (2 of the features most used)
  • Colors/Identity (UA)

 

Focus Groups:
  • 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