March 25, 2019 | 50° F

Rutgers to redesign website pages, aims to improve user experience


rutgers-website-photo-illustration-by-garrett-steffe
Photo by Garrett Steffe |

Since January, Rutgers has been working to redesign four separate pages of its website. 

The project is a collaboration between University Communications and Marketing (UCM), the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) and Rutgers Communications (R-Comm), according to the Rutgers website

Dory Devlin, the senior director of University News and Relations, said UCM is responsible for the content, design and management of the overall University-wide website, rutgers.edu. 

ORED, a central administration unit, is responsible for providing information to support faculty research and leading economic development activities at the University, she said. Along with a dozen other domains, they manage the research website for Rutgers, research.rutgers.edu.

Finally, R-Comm, the marketing and communications office for the University, manages the New Brunswick website, newbrunswick.rutgers.edu and rbhs.rutgers.edu, the website for Rutgers Biomedical and Health Science. 

All three units are working together to combine resources for the most impact, according to the website. While each website will maintain its own individual look and functional features, developing all of the sites together will provide a more cohesive approach to design and user experience. 

“The overall goal of the project is to improve the experience for internal and external users of these university websites,” Devlin said in an email to The Daily Targum. “The new websites will simplify navigation, organize content in a way that is best for the user and help tell the story of the University, its students, faculty, staff and world-changing research in a more engaging way.”

Input from the Rutgers community will also be used to gain insight for the project. An email was recently sent out to students, faculty and staff, asking them to answer a survey about how they use each of the four websites.

The project will not only impact the four websites listed, but also provide assets and design ideas that can be utilized by other parts of University website. One of the developments of the project is a component library, which will contain the styles and functional elements that were designed. 

The library will thus make it easier for other departments to use these design elements for their websites. It also has the potential to save costs for these departments, since they will be able to adopt the same shared assets.

“This library will store these components in such a way that they can be combined like LEGO building blocks to create webpages of all types,” according to the website.

Overall, the new websites will affect users by providing information about Rutgers in a way that is optimized for all screen sizes. The units will also be able to use the borrowed capital from the project to more efficiently design a “state-of-the-art Rutgers branded website” in the future. 

Devlin said the websites were set to launch in a staggered schedule starting later this year, with the last website to be completed in 2020. The goal is for the first website to be launched at the end of 2019 and the next three sites being launched in sequence throughout the spring and summer of next year. 

“The final cost of the project will not be known until all of the websites are completed,” she said. 


Catherine Nguyen

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