A redesign of the University of Colorado system website – cu.edu – will launch early in the new year, incorporating new technology and a philosophy that will serve all of its users, from faculty and staff to prospective students and parents, and alumni and donors.
Ken McConnellogue, vice president for communication, discussed the updates at the Dec. 13 University of Colorado Staff Council meeting, a week after he briefed Faculty Council on the project. He said the website will evolve for a variety of reasons, including technological advancement.
“We have extremely dated technology from the late 1990s,” he said. “That may as well be from the late 19th century, as fast as technology moves these days.”
The new system will enable content management by numerous units within system administration instead of streaming all needs through a single Web developer.
Another intent of the makeover project is to frame the focus of the site to better meet visitor needs.
“Everyone has put together a website with what they think is best and who they think their audiences are with no talk of a broad look at what cu.edu should accomplish,” McConnellogue said. The site’s goal is to provide accurate and timely information that is easily published, offers user-friendly navigation and reflects brand consistency.
The site will work on all browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome, as well as others; it also will comply with federal accessibility guidelines.
McConnellogue’s project team studied responses from 260 online surveys and examined site analytics to determine who was viewing the site and for what reasons. With Boulder firm Archetype 5, which was chosen to design and build the site, the team then developed a framework for the site, which now is in the graphic design phase.
The website will be device-responsive, self-adjusting to fit any size viewing screen, including tablets. Images are resized, folded into drop-down menus or stacked as needed, depending on the size of the viewing window so that no content is lost, even on small iPhone screens, Arnold said.
Concurrently, changes are being made to the CU Portal so the sites look and operate in the same way. While cu.edu is a marketing site where information about the university may be found, it also serves as a conduit for faculty and staff to “do the business of the university and personal HR business.”
Other, convenient aspects of the site will include a systemwide search tool, and listings of events and university news.