Digital Makeover

The Division of University Advancement will be launching the University’s redeveloped Web site later this month to better serve current and prospective students with an array of resources and an easy to use design.

The current Web site, which has not been upgraded since 1999, will eventually phase out as the third phase of the redevelopment process is completed.

The Web site will go through three phases and is currently going through its first phase, which includes redesigning 600 Web pages.

The pages are being prioritized by traffic visits and the home page is part of the first batch that will be revealed to UH, Marketing Director of the Division of University Advancement Darcie Champagne said.

"We have pretty much had to start from the ground up with this Web site," she said. "We have made the Web site redevelopment a never ending process – something that we will be continuing to grow and develop over time."

The planning for the Web site has been a year-long process that included focus groups with students, electronic surveys and actual in-person usability testing.

The goal of the Web site is to make it more easy to use. The organization will also change from the current departmental organizational structure to better serve students.

Students will no longer deal with difficult search engines or department Web sites, but instead, will be given all the resources on one page with links to what they are looking for without all the department tape, she said.

The site will have a more consistent look throughout each page, starting with the current and prospective pages and eventually going into department pages, which are included in phase three of the project.

Students will be able to go to a simple layout page for easy accessibility to resources and issues that concern them.

Checklists will also be available with step-by-step directions for things like applying for graduation and enrolling in classes.

"I had to apply for graduation and my advisor told me to do it online, but when I tried, it wasn’t as simple as he made it seem," said psychology senior Erika Buenu. "I ended up finding a friend who had already done it and got directions from her. It was really frustrating. I had no direction when online."

Being much more visually appealing and easy to use, the site will hopefully help change the University’s image, Champagne said. A prototype of the new site is available online at for students to explore.

The site will contain more aesthetically appealing images and feature stories of student life and campus activities.

"I really hope that the new site is a step toward changing current impressions and the tools are going to make a huge difference in serving current students," said Champagne.

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