Web site to finish launching this week

The redesigned UH Web site will launch in the next week and is expected to attract prospective students through its more user-friendly look and features.

"We moved the site from an organizational standpoint to a visitor-structured site," said Darcie Champagne, project manager and director of University Marketing. "We want all the content to be geared towards our visitors."

The Web site redesign has been going on for more than a year and has had input from more than 2,000 people, Champagne told The Daily Cougar earlier this month.

While Champagne said the Web site would be launched Nov. 6, the agenda for the UH System Board of Regents meetings slated this week state that the site would be launched today.

"We want the site to be visitor-centered," Champagne 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."

Web site administrators determined what to include by prioritizing feedback from focus groups, student surveys, software specialists and faculty feedback, Champagne said.

New site features are "buckets" and "audience gateways" to aid navigation. The "buckets" are placed on the top of the homepage and show the most important links as determined by a panel of students, alumni, staff and survey results.

The "audience gateways" are used to take the information to the user and put everything they need right at their fingertips, Champagne said.

Clicking on the "current students" tab will bring up information relevant only to current students. The "alumni" gateway users will allow users to be able to see updated lists on University rankings, economic statistics and future plans for developments on campus. Announcement sections, related links and special interest features are also being revamped.

"Checklists" will be included and will walk students through processes such as degree plans, tutoring and enrollment.

"The site is set up to allow faculty and staff to empower students to provide quick and easy answers," Marketing Manager Jason Lisovicz said. "(The Web site) is a one stop-shop for information distribution."

Three phases of implementation for the site have been planned, in which the first phase will launch 600 pages of content, Champagne told The Daily Cougar earlier this month.

The second phase, which is estimated to go into effect in the spring, will feature an internal device called "Content Management System," which will feature a core system that is easily updatable, Champagne said.

"The site will be reliable and fresh because of the content management system," said Eric Gerber, director of University Communication.

The third phase will be geared toward multimedia, providing streaming video and podcasts.

"We can put our site against other universities," Champagne said. "The site will always be evolving, because it doesn’t have a finite end to it. It will be an ongoing process of listening to our audience and their needs."

Leave a Comment