F&A Websites Get Redesigned and Reimagined


In December 2015, ITS Digital Services completed a five-month project to redesign and migrate the websites of the University’s central Division of Finance and Administration. In collaboration and consultation with Finance and Administration, Digital Services thoughtfully created sites and pages in a way to enhance their presentation and usability. Until Digital Services overhauled the sites in this conversion to the WordPress content management system, most of the F&A sites had not been rebuilt in about 10 years. Over 75 separate site were combined into approximately 15 sites.
 Why did F&A want to overhaul its websites?
F&A had dozens of sites under its umbrella of business functions. Many of them were internal, but many of them also were public facing and of importance to the public audiences of students, staff and faculty.
The sites were nonresponsive, meaning they were not built with mobile first in mind, which is now standard. The sites also lacked consistency across the different F&A units.
 Why now?
Part of the desire to upgrade the sites was that F&A was making changes in its organization and had brought in Allison Reid as the new Executive Director of Communications and Marketing. She wanted to accelerate the process of getting the websites in shape and modernized even before building her staff. ITS Digital Services tackled Phase 1: managing the migration in advance of an F&A developer being hired. In Phase 2, F&A took over the final portion of the migration.

 

 What was the vision for the new website design and functionality?
ITS Digital Services moved the F&A sites to WordPress, the Web publishing and hosting system that ITS Digital Services offers the campus. WordPress is flexible, scalable and easy to use. With WordPress, it’s also easier to share responsibilities among editors and multiple people across a unit, if necessary.

Digital Services used Heelium, the default theme for campus, to improve F&A’s design and branding, and then tweaked it to give the new family of sites its own unique look.

Using the approach of mobile first, Digital Services knew it wanted to reduce the number of pages while conveying the same information. The group accomplished this by moving pages into sections, toggles, tabs and other tools. On the home page, Digital Services added a carousel of options of the most popular links. Those are shown as a series of icons, created by UNC Creative.
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