SF State’s new home page: More visual, social, accessible
The University today unveiled its new home page in public beta, an online presence that has been updated to be more visually appealing, dynamic and responsive to varied devices.
With a carousel of bold images and top-level expanding navigation, the redesigned SFSU.edu is devoted to serving the needs of incoming students, visitors and the community. The new user interface is also responsive to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It is a big leap in functionality and appearance from the last home-page design done in early 2008.
Information is placed where users are looking for it. Links to University resources and departments are at the top of the page, in an expanding navigation bar. Scrolling down the page, key entry points for the SF State experience -- news stories, event listings and alumni information -- now live in large-format content areas. SF State’s social-media accounts also are set apart in their own section, allowing for quick connections to the digital conversation. (Users browsing with recent versions of Internet Explorer may see some layout issues. An upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 is recommended.)
A team representing all vice-presidential areas of the University and other stakeholders is rolling out the new home page as part of an iterative design process. SFSU.edu is but the first step; revamps of interior pages (including consistent headers and footers, updated fonts and other changes) are scheduled to go live during the next several weeks. (For alpha prototypes of two interior page works-in-progress that demonstrate changes that may be incorporated into the final templates, see http://cob.sfsu.edu and http://lca.sfsu.edu.) The interior-page template options are being fine-tuned, and a revised interior template will be rolled out in the next few weeks.
Five objectives drive this evolution of SF State’s Web presence: the need to continuously improve universal access; the desire to have a site responsive to increasingly ubiquitous devices; the desire to capture the energy and excitement of the University; an organization-wide commitment to consolidating Web builds on secure central servers in one Drupal template; and a commitment to providing more flexibility and layout options on interior pages. Departments that would like to get their adoption under way may contact the Division of Information Technology to move their sites to the Drupal content-management system on the University’s servers.
SF State’s motto, “Experientia Docet” or “experience teaches,” reflects the spirit of this public beta. Comments and feedback on this new front door to the University are encouraged.
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