The freshman class isn’t the only new addition to campus for the fall 2014 semester. NC State has a fresh face on the Internet with the launch of the redesigned central website.
“Our goal was to create an innovative, purposeful Web experience that reflects the university itself,” says Luis Chacon, director of Web communications. “In our approach to content strategy, design and development for the new website, we focused on helping our users find the information they need and letting that information speak for itself.”
Some of the site’s measurable goals are to drive traffic to the admissions section, where future undergraduate and graduate students can apply to NC State, and to increase visits to the university’s Giving website.
The new site also puts NC State at the forefront of digital trends. The site was designed from a mobile-first standpoint so users of mobile devices can easily access it. Research shows that the next wave of students will be the first “mobile only” generation.
A Mega-News Site
The redesign brings the university’s homepage features, press releases, news site, research blog – The Abstract – and faculty and staff news source – the Bulletin – together for the first time.
“Merging our news channels enables us to engage both internal and external audiences in a unified way,” says Fred Hartman, director of public relations. “Rather than delivering content piecemeal, we’re now focused on capturing news and information across disciplines and departments and sharing it with our constituents through a dynamic, dedicated news site supported by a strong social media network.”
Faculty and staff will continue to receive a weekly Bulletin email, but they’re also encouraged to bookmark the news site and visit daily for the latest university news and information.
The redesign also introduces a new navigational structure to guide users. Primary navigation on the homepage and throughout ncsu.edu is organized around topics: About NC State, Admissions, Research, Academics, Partnerships, Campus Life, Outreach and Athletics. On these pages and the homepage itself, users can learn about NC State’s world-leading faculty and staff, high-performing students and the solution-driven research and scholarship they produce.
The secondary navigational menu, located just below the search box in the top-right corner of all ncsu.edu pages, contains resources important to key audiences: students, faculty and staff, parents and family, and alumni.
The site also features a revamped branding utility bar atop each page. The utility bar includes popular utilities — MyPack Portal, the campus directory, a campus map and the NC State calendar — and information about campus resources, including NCSU Libraries, the cashier’s office, Registration and Records, and more.
On an average day, more than 70,000 people visit ncsu.edu, and the site has earned national recognition. Earlier this year, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, a professional organization with more than 74,000 members from 3,600 schools, recognized the site with a grand award for website design and organization.