Web Redesign Project, Part 2

President Esteban recently said that “spring holds the promise of new beginnings”. This holds true for the University homepage, which received a delayed redesign this week. As originally planned for the Fall, the first phase of the web team’s web redesign project launched successfully Wednesday afternoon, bringing the first major aesthetic changes to www.shu.edu since 2005! For all the details on this new homepage, check out the full write up in Web Redesign Project, Part 1.

Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 1.32.11 AM

What happened last fall? Even when it comes to one page and a “global header and footer”, technology presents challenges. Although we conducted testing during the development of our code, some of the the new drop-down navigational links now appearing site wide were not rendering as anticipated as we approached our update. Notably, the :hover events with touch input in Internet Explorer 10 on the Windows tablets distributed during our award winning mobile computing program were not what we expected.

Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 1.34.35 AM

Our commitment to user experience is a priority, so we elected to re-code our links. Unfortunately, when it comes to change, timing is everything. With finals and the holiday break approaching, we preferred not to make any changes that might change our students’ expectations of the site. Once classes resumed in 2013 and we had past the add/drop period, we were ready to move forward. We’re hoping you like the results!

This is one of many new beginnings for our website. In the near feature we look forward moving to the cloud, recreating many of the dynamic elements for our unique content and communications as well as reinvent the sites you may already know. In the meantime, we are always looking for feedback. Questions and comments are most welcome below, or send an email to hylandmi@shu.edu.

18 comments on “Web Redesign Project, Part 2

  1. While the new website looks a lot more aesthetically pleasing it is a hassle to have to log onto Piratenet to access my e-mail and blackboard. At times I don’t need to log onto piratenet and I just wish there was an easier way for me to get to my e-mail and or blackboard. I think overall the Seton Hall community would appreciate the easy e-mail and blackboard feature back.

    • Mike Hyland on said:

      Thank you for commenting! We are continually working to improve our interaction design, and will make a note of your feedback.

  2. With the new design, the only way to log on to my email and black board is to go through Pirate Net. This is very inconvenient beacse most of the time I only want to check my eamil and do not need my PirateNet. The same goes for Blackboard. On the old website, you had links at the top to email, blackboard, and Piratenet; now you only have Piratenet. Why did you decide to take these quick links down and do you plan on putting them back up soon?

    • Mike Hyland on said:

      Thank you for commenting! We are continually working to improve our interaction design, and will make a note of your feedback.

      The long standing set of links you’re referring to was experimental part of a process our team has been working on to streamline the authenticated experience for our internal constituents.

      After looking at site metrics over the course of the year prior to the redesign project, we found the actual number of clicks to these links was low. Nevertheless, we are still working on new and easy ways to access these services. Stay tuned!

  3. Rebecca on said:

    I too am very frustrated that there is no longer an easy link to e-mail and blackboard. Even if these were posted on the bottom of the page, at least they would be accessible. There are many times I do not want to log into my full PirateNet account – just my e-mail and making it unavailable is a huge detraction to the new look.

    • Mike Hyland on said:

      Thank you for commenting! We are continually working to improve our interaction design, and will make a note of your feedback.

  4. L.Martinez on said:

    I am having some trouble with the new design. I used to be able to access the library link quickly, now I don’t even see a button for it. Will there be a simpler way to access the online database?

  5. One thing that has upset me about the new page is that there is no link at the very top for Blackboard and Email. Are you going to be bringing these back? As a student, it is very frustrating and inconvenient to have to search for what I need.

    • Mike Hyland on said:

      Your links to email and Blackboard are still available in the same location once you sign into PirateNet.

  6. Thanks for sharing the backstory on what it took to launch the new site. Love getting the context for this great leap forward. Let’s keep spreading all the great SHU stories here on http://www.shu.edu and beyond!

  7. Maxim Matusevich on said:

    I’d like to express some serious concerns about the newly redesigned SHU site. In order to get to Campus News, Features, and Upcoming Events one has to scroll down the page. Most visitors to the site will likely never bother scrolling down to the bottom of the page, they’ll take a look and move on. Visitors to the site should have immediate access to campus news and other announcements – this is one of the primary purposes of any university website. In this regard the new site is far from user-friendly, which can have a detrimental effect on our university’s national and international visibility.

    • Mike Hyland on said:

      Thank you for the feedback! We did move the news element (dynamically driven by our content management system) about 150px – 200px lower than the previous design (and switched from 1 feature story to 4).

      This choice was not haphazard. The large graphical “carousel” you see first also feeds news and the most important messages we’d like to share with audiences. We also conducted user testing, researched best practices and reviewed our web analytics extensively before choosing the current layout. We will continue to monitor user interaction and experience moving forward and respond.

      Recommended reading: http://uxmyths.com/post/654047943/myth-people-dont-scroll

  8. It looks nice and dynamic with the live feeds. I just can’t find the library link, am I missing it? Since that is where all my readings are for class it’s the biggest reason I go to shu.edu can you add a link for the library please?

    • Mike Hyland on said:

      Excellent question! The “Libraries” link can be found under the “Academics” drop-down now, site-wide.

  9. Elyse Carter on said:

    I really like the fresh, contemporary look at the top of the page.

    • Mike Hyland on said:

      The designers in University Advancement played an integral role in guiding even the most subtle aesthetic details. I look forward to seeing the design evolve as we continue the project!