Employee survey will help prioritize central ISU web portal

Where do you go on the ISU website?

Complete the survey by 5 p.m. Monday, April 18.

Last spring, Iowa State launched a major effort to redesign the university's front door -- its homepage -- and to reimagine its entire website template. The web redesign remains on schedule to debut this summer.

New look, new focus

President Wendy Wintersteen's charge for the redesign project was to focus the homepage on student recruitment.

"The project recognizes how imperative it is for us to meet the needs of prospective students and their families," Wintersteen said. "We're reimagining a web presence that serves as a critical component of our recruitment strategy, provides a positive first impression, piques interest and provides a clear pathway for prospective students and their families to engage."

A project team that includes staff from admissions, IT Services and strategic relations and communications is working with the Baltimore-based idfive agency on the mobile-first, accessible redesign.

The admissions website will move to the university's main site (iastate.edu). Extensive research and testing guided the development of a design concept and information architecture that appeals to prospective students and their families. The new website will debut by July 1.

Survey asks faculty, staff for input

As part of the project, a central page is being created to help faculty, staff and current students quickly access information, tools and resources important to their everyday needs.

A brief survey was emailed to faculty and staff on Monday, April 11. Employees have until 5 p.m. Monday, April 18 to share their input. Survey results, web analytics and interviews will help identify the information and resources featured on the central portal-style page.

"The goal is to provide a central page that connects the university community with navigation that helps them successfully learn, work and live at Iowa State," said Jacy Johnson, associate vice president for strategic relations and communications.

New design theme for campuswide use

The redesign project also includes the development of a theme package that will be available to campus units, offices and departments at no cost. The theme package includes a large selection of components to create custom websites in line with the main site's new look. The goal is to provide a consistent user experience across all websites, with a similar look, feel and experience on Iowa State University sites.

"This project will provide a more consistent user experience and strengthen Iowa State's brand. No matter where someone visits us online, they will see us as one university," Johnson said.

Town hall-style training sessions will be offered as part of the theme package launch in late summer or early fall. A web style guide -- including best practices for showing and telling Iowa State's story -- also is being developed.

"We're excited to offer a modern, research-based central web theme to the university community. We know it will take time to implement broadly, but this is an important first step," Johnson said.