On Saturday, Sept. 20, the new UR Web site went live. The redesign process began in August of last year.

‘If you look across university homepages generally, there is a lot of “sameness’ out there, and that made it a little easier to think, “OK, what can we do that nobody else is doing?'” Web Editor for the Office of Communications Lori Packer said.

‘The phrase “world-class research university’ was thrown around a lot during the design phase of the new University graphic identity system and, inevitably, we had to try and live up to that ideal on the web as well,” Graphics Coordinator for the Office of Communications Michael Osadciw said.

Aside from the enlargement of the central graphic, other major changes included a single seamless horizontal navigation bar, enhanced sub-homes (second-level pages) and clearer headline news articles. These enhanced features serve to improve the overall aesthetics and ease of use for visitors to the site.

Feedback that was received during the six-week-long beta period had an affect on the new site. Packer gave an example of one of these enhancements.

‘The original look of the tabs was very simple quite boxy, even,” Packer said. ‘One of the first wave of comments we got was that they looked pretty “blah’ when compared to the rest of the page. So we polished these up a bit and also changed how they functioned.”

Visitors are able to vote for their favorite photos from the group of large photos on the homepage.

‘Mostly we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback and some constructive suggestions on how to make the site even better,” Packer said.

Wisch is a member of the class of 2011.

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