Web site launches in weeks

The new UH Web site is expected to launch later this month in the first of three phases of implementation.

The redevelopment of the site has been progressing for more than a year and has had involvement from more than 2,000 people, Darcie Champagne, project manager and director of University Marketing, said.

"We want the site to be visitor-centered," she said. "In order to accomplish this, we spent many hours working with our audience so we could understand their needs. They helped shape the content and direction of the site."

The first phase is the "roll out" stage, where the University will launch its 600 pages of content, Champagne said. From there, UH will update information and then move on to phase three, which will add video streaming online.

The final home page design was chosen by a group of 353 prospective and new students.

"We wanted the look to be attractive to students," Wendy Adair, associate vice president of Development Communications, said. "Research shows that the look can be a major tool in recruitment."

Usability tests are being used to determine simple tasks on the prototype site to identify if it works Eric Gerber, director of University Communication, said.

Manager of Web Technologies Diane Trippel said the site has performed well in evaluation.

"We have benchmarked tests for the fall semester, and all of the tests have passed with complete confidence," she said.

A launch date is yet to be determined, but students will be notified a week during advance via e-mail and the current UH Web site.

"We are not setting a firm date until all is ready to go," Champagne said. "We will be constantly evaluating and evolving, rather than just publishing the site and being done. Our expectation is to be able to deliver."

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