Redesign: School of Library and Information Science

Yesterday we launched the new School of Library and Information Science website. We launched the previous design over two years ago and learned a lot along the way.

Information architecture

We completely re-organized the site from audience based to tasked based. This allowed us to do two things, the first was to centralize all the information about the programs into one area since it applies to both prospective and current students. For example, the admissions information applies to every program and includes items that students who have been admitted still need to complete the “Admissions” title was more appropriate than “Prospective Students”.

Beyond the navigation we created a subsite for current students. This site has it’s own navigation, events, news and promotions. The school wanted a destination page for admitted students to alleviate a lot of that information from their main homepage. The main homepage can now be focused on recruiting students. Selective news and events from the student subsite can also make it to the school’s homepage.

Design

The overall design was changed to represent the school in a cleaner style and more space for promotional items. The header focuses on the name of the school and site search, the menu style has been simplified to have link style instead of looking like buttons. Below that is a large branding area with rotating impacting facts about the school. The main content starts with a slider of the degree types with links directly to the lists. A promotional video is next that plays right on the page and then a rotating promotions area that lets prospective students know about upcoming events and deadlines.

The bottom section on the page is dedicated to highlighting a student, faculty or alumni member. This is a new section and the goal is to personalize the program since a lot of students take fully online courses and never come to campus. Lastly the news, events and contact areas make their appearance to let the campus community know what is going on within the school. The items in here are for all audiences but have a little heavier weight for prospective students.

Under the hood

Nothing major code wise to report except a stronger emphasis on progressive enhancement to keep the page weight light when users don’t have javascript turned on. Since the page has more elements on it the number of http requests has actually increased slightly but the overall weight of the page has decreased allowing for quicker load times. Like all of our sites the javascript is based on the jQuery framework.

Check out the new School of Library and Information Science website at: http://slis.wayne.edu/