Today we welcome a guest post by Julie Flory, Director of Public Relations.
Great news on the Web front – the Notre Dame home page is about to get an upgrade in order to improve usability and create new opportunities for showcasing content. We want to keep our campus communicators in the loop as we work toward a not-entirely-new (but definitely improved) ND.edu, so be sure to keep an eye on the AgencyND blog for updates.
Here in OPAC, our team has put together a yearlong, multi-phase plan to gradually incorporate into the site a number of tweaks – some small and some a bit more noticeable – but all designed to create a better user experience. After analyzing the site and considering feedback and data from the past three years, we have come up with a plan that addresses all aspects of the home page – from the global navigation to the footer and just about everything in between.
Updates will be implemented gradually over the next several months, with a goal of having all phases complete in time for the start of the 2011-12 academic year. The first visible change will be seen this month when we address the area beneath the carousel (known to some as “below the fold”) to build a more dynamic content area that will improve a number of existing features and add two new “Spotlight” sections that will highlight Notre Dame people, places and programs.
Up next will be the large top feature section known as the carousel. We are exploring a number of options for the evolution of this section and are working toward a faster, more efficient and user-friendly visitor experience with a design that incorporates the latest technology for Web content delivery. Our hope is to launch this updated section in January.
We will keep you posted on our progress and, of course, we’d love to hear from you with your feedback or suggestions. We know it’s not our site; it’s Notre Dame’s – and all of yours – and we look forward to partnering with you on this journey.
Julie Flory, Jane Below, Chas Grundy & Don Schindler
OPAC ND.edu Leadership Team