[caption id="attachment_19044" align="aligncenter" width="800"] The University of Delaware rolled out its new website June 1.[/caption]
By Jess Moore
Special to Delaware Business Times
The University of Delaware has revamped and rolled out a new website, including changes to the home page, campus online magazine UDaily, and undergraduate admissions navigation. The website's revamps are all responsive, meaning that they can be efficiently used across smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops to provide a welcoming experience for present and future students, alumni, families and employees.
According to Meredith Chapman, director for digital communication, "The website really needed a revamp. Typically websites change up every three to five years. It's been a while for us. We really wanted to be sure of what visitors wanted and needed for a successful experience."
The website launched on June 1, after three years of dedicated work. Extensive research was done to understand the university's target audiences to provide a combination of what Chapman called "medium and message."
The university worked with an outside source to develop the website through Adobe Experience Manager, as well as "a really great, hardworking staff."
The new website has a "sense of place" scheme, according to Chapman, with the homepage featuring a video background that at first appears to be a live stream. Chapman noted that the homepage changes with the weather.
"If it snows, we may have actual video from that morning's storm as the homepage," she said. "Our students have a joke that it always rains on Tuesdays. So if it's raining on a Tuesday, our homepage background will be the rain on campus."
Additional features include virtual tours of the campus that are linked through pictures shown on the homepage and throughout the rest of the website. Potential students and faculty can also find videos from within the classrooms to gain a sense of what the university's campus environment.
Chapman, who is also a professor of digital marketing at the university, used a mantra that she tells her students while working on this project. "When you leave here, it's not about you. It's about the user you are targeting and what they want and need from you. It's about educating yourself on what is best for the people you are working for."
As for the future of the website, Chapman estimates that it will last another two to three years with continuous changes before another major revamp.
Founded in 1742, the University of Delaware's main campus in Newark is home to 22,852 students and 4,343 employees.