New look of UT homepage aims to bolster brand, improve user experience

December 15, 2009 | News, UToday
By Staff



Visitors of The University of Toledo’s homepage will find a new, streamlined look to the site when they visit the page Wednesday afternoon. And it’s one that the Division of External Affairs hopes will resonate with perspective students.

webnew-ut-homepageThe new look of the page, utoledo.edu, was conceived in an effort to better integrate the UT brand identity, while incorporating data collected about user habits and information needs.

“We have leveraged the power of the ‘More’ campaign in a way we hope gives us the ability to highlight the many great things happening at the University,” said Lawrence J. Burns, vice president for external affairs and interim vice president for equity and diversity. “The flexibility of the layout and imagery will allow us to adapt for any situation, while providing the users with an enhanced experience as they explore all UT has to offer.”

The project was driven largely by the Division of External Affairs, which includes the Center for Creative Instruction, Enrollment Services, Health-Care Marketing, University Marketing, University Communications and Diversity Recruitment.

Among the new features of the page are the integration of social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, UT journals, and quick links to majors, colleges and online applications.

“Our research showed us that without a doubt, prospective students visiting the site were primarily interested in what majors we offer, as well as how to begin the application process,” said Kathleen Walsh, director of Web development. “By modifying our layout, we were able to make these user priorities more prominent, while showing the breadth of opportunities available inside and outside the classroom.”

Understanding that current members of the UT community are also a primary audience for the homepage, developers integrated an “A-Z” link, through which users can quickly link to any page.

“While we encourage our faculty, staff and current students to utilize the myUT page as their primary UT homepage, we know that often they, and some of our external audiences, need a way to rapidly find a variety of pages,” Walsh said. “We hope this tool meets that need.”

“This page represents a great collaboration between Web designers, marketing professionals, communications strategists, enrollment experts, diversity leaders and beyond,” said Tobin J. Klinger, senior director for university communications. “It would not have been possible without their hard work and commitment to taking our Web presence to a new level.”

“The UT homepage is the primary face to the external community,” Burns added. “This is our primary landing page for prospective students, their parents, potential patients, our alumni and the community, and we hope we have created an exciting gateway to welcome them to The University of Toledo.”