Redesign Enhances NC State Website

Laptop, tablet and smartphone with site displayed.

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.

New Navigation

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.

13 responses on “Redesign Enhances NC State Website

  1. Tom Jackson says:

    If it earned a CASE award for design and organization, why redesign it and move everything around?

    This scroll-all-day Tumblr-like approach lends itself to haphazard search with each category, and creates lots of pretty fluff no one will read.

  2. John says:

    Like many recent moves from NCSU over the past few years. This website is designed to attract new users and funding but at a loss of functionality to students and ability to get information. For example “Make a gift is easy to find” but getting to our library?

    1. University Communications says:

      @John While Attracting new users is just one of our goals for the new website. We equally value our repeat site visitors. We do have a link to NCSU Libraries on all of our central pages — the easiest way to get there is to use our utility bar, located at the top of the new site. If you find the “Resources” menu, you’ll see it drops down to show a larger set of links.

      We also have a link to NCSU Libraries (and MyPackPortal, another highly requested link) in the footer of our website. We’ve also linked out to the Libraries in our navigation under Academics, Faculty and Staff and Students.

    2. Sharon says:

      Absolutely agree with John. We are not going to increase revenues from making it 30 seconds quicker to find the “make a donation” link. But we will affect our productivity – and revenues – by wasting several minutes of searching every time a current member of the campus community needs to find something. Example: Somehow every time I need to find the Academic Calendars, it takes me about 2 minutes, because I have to follow several links that don’t make sense to me, and are in a different location from the last time. I do that about 3 times a year. If all 40,000 or so members of the university community have similar reductions in efficiency, that is an annual 4,000 or so person-hours wasted just looking for one important page. At what cost?

  3. vasu kuraparthy says:

    webpage looks good especially the font type.
    But font size need to be little increased or boldened more.
    Why there is so much empty space in left and right sides of the page

  4. Kathy says:

    Enhanced? Not in my opinion. …..the screen is black with a scroll down to other conten; the menu button at the top activate; Why do I have to go thru layers to get to old pages to even FIND mypackportal?

    1. University Communications says:

      @Kathy If you email us at web_feedback, we’ll be happy to help troubleshoot if the website isn’t rendering correctly for you.

      I did want to point out that, as with the NCSU Libraries link, we also have MyPack Portal linked under the utility strip. You’ll see a drop-down menu with a series of organized links if you click on the “Resources” menu at the very top of our new website. We also link to MyPack Portal from the footer of our site.

  5. April says:

    I miss the MyPack link. Much harder to do quick navigation for frequent users. Agreeing with “Kathy”!

    1. University Communications says:

      @April We’ve maintained the utilities our frequent users loved. The links that comprised “Quicklinks” on the old site now live in a categorized “Resources” drop-down menu found at the very top of the new website. We also made sure to give prominent positions in that menu to four of the most popular links: Campus Directory, MyPack Portal, Campus Map and Libraries

  6. Frank Abrams says:

    Please get a Libraries link BACK on the front page!

  7. Frank Abrams says:

    I mean at the top, may be just to the left of “Athletics”. One would like to think that being up front about our wonderful Libraries would attract at least as many of the kinds of students that make NCSU great as does the “Athletics” link!

  8. Alan Donaldson says:

    Most of us will agree that a LIBRARY is the heart of any University worth its salt.

    As such, NC State University MUST FEATURE ITS GREAT LIBRARIES MOST PROMINENTLY ON ITS WEB PAGE.

    Please PLACE THE LIBRARIES WEB-LINK ON THE FRONT PAGE — IN A PROMINENT POSITION!

    Thank you,

    Alan Donaldson
    President, NCSU Association of Retired Faculty (ARF)

  9. Gene Eisen says:

    Please put the link to the NCSU Library right up front in a prominent location. It took me an unnecessary long time to locate it.
    Gene Eisen

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