Lerner web redesign
Lerner College launches website with new look, functionality
1:59 p.m., Sept. 10, 2013--The Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics unveiled its redesigned website on Aug. 23. The new site has a fresh look, improved navigation and a variety of new dynamic features designed with the end-user in mind.
“The Lerner College is on its way forward with important initiatives to help us accomplish our goals of growing our graduate programs, raising our research profile, and emphasizing experience-driven learning and analytics across our programs of study,” said Bruce Weber, dean of the college. “This new site improves accessibility and presents the first-rate initiatives our faculty and staff are undertaking for Lerner students. It puts our best foot forward with all of our audiences.”
Partnership for change
According to Kathryn Meier, marketing and communications manager for the college, the redesign involved almost the entire college: administrative offices, all five departments and 10 centers and programs. The Graduate and Executive Programs website is undergoing a separate redesign, which is expected to launch later this month.
Meier led the project and chaired the web redesign committee alongside college staff Heather Harwood, graphic designer, and John McMillan, computer support specialist. The committee included Jennifer Gregan-Paxton, senior academic adviser and associate professor, Department of Business Administration/Undergraduate Advising and Academic Services; Susan Sherry, administrative assistant, Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (who initially also represented other Lerner centers like the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance and the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship); Michal Herzenstein, associate professor of marketing, Department of Business Administration; Mark Serva, associate professor, Department of Accounting and MIS; Ali Poorani, associate professor, Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management; Joseph Daniel, associate professor, Department of Economics; Terry Campbell, associate professor, and Vicki Rollo, administrative assistant, Department of Finance.
The team selected local website developer Digital Eye to complete the technical development and design of the site and worked closely with IT staff in the college and the Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) to incorporate new features.
Dave Gregory, computing support specialist in OCM, set up feeds so the site automatically pulls UDaily stories and thumbnails to the home page reflecting college news. Landing pages for all centers and departments also display their specific news. A new search page also enables visitors to access college-specific archived UDaily stories and events calendar feeds.
In addition, a student team from the MISY431 Project Management course played a key role in supporting development of the site on the analytics side. “They assessed who our unique visitors are and which pages contained the most used/sought-after information,” Meier said, “and they offered valuable insight to help us work with local website developer Digital Eye to ensure that our target audience needs would be met in the new design.”
Added Harwood, “We wanted to ensure that the site looked modern but approachable and was geared toward our unique visitors, like current and prospective students, so we designed the navigation and structure accordingly. Keeping within the UD and Lerner brand guidelines was also important, so we took care in choosing the new site’s colors, photography and fonts.”
Another significant change from the old site is that voluntary content managers throughout the college can make routine edits to the new site. Meier and McMillan conducted three training sessions in August, and some 15 content managers are now prepared to fill this role.
“The redesign of the website was a collaborative effort among the committee, Digital Eye, and our internal IT staff,” says Meier. “The end result is a truly custom site, driven by data and best-practice web design, that centers on the user. With a clean and modern look and more intuitive navigation, users will be able to see important information and locate what they need in a more efficient way.”