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April 6, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Visitors to Northwest's Internet home page today will see a cleaner, more user-friendly Web site that trumpets the accomplishments of students, staff and alumni, while providing wider access to news stories, events, campus history and resources.
The redesign project began in January and was carried out by University Relations and Information Systems staff. Kim Ziegler, University Relations publications assistant, created the new home page design, and Crystal Ward, Information Systems junior Web master, was responsible for translating the design to the University's Web host software.
To gain feedback on the new design, "Sneak Peek" links were e-mailed to Northwest students and staff and shared with constituents via Facebook and Twitter during the month of March. The new design replaces a previous home page design that was a few years old.
With so many parts that make Northwest a great place to go to school, work and visit, the objective of the redesign was to make sure all of those parts not only had a place on Northwest's home page but also were easy to find.
"The new Web page design is much more modern and fresh, much like Northwest," said Mallory Murray, marketing specialist. "It better incorporates our social media presence, and enables easier access to news and event information for our users. For many users, our Web site offers the first glimpse of life at Northwest, and we want our site to be as vibrant and fresh as the University itself."
The centerpiece of the new home page is a rotating display of panels featuring Northwest students, staff and alumni. Additionally, the home page provides a larger space for Northwest news headlines and a calendar of upcoming events. Lower on the page, a smaller display of rotating panels features upcoming entertainment performances, programs, and facts and figures that make Northwest stand out among its peers. A set of icons also are linked to Northwest's social networking outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.
At the top of the home page, a new navigation header provides drop-down menus loaded with links to specific pages and resources throughout Northwest's Web site. In the old design, users often entered terms in the search box to find the page they wanted to view. In the new design, users can simply hover over a category on the menu bar to find things such as the online museum, majors and minors, Encore events and scholarships - all with fewer clicks. Some links, including the popular Quick Tools category and Northwest media, are purposely listed under multiple categories so they are easier to find.
Under Connect, users can access Quick Tools, as well as an A-Z index that provides a complete guide to programs, organizations and facility pages on the Northwest Web site.
On inside pages, users will notice few changes to the Web site aside from the color schemes, which have been changed to match the home page. Every inside page will carry the navigation header, along with a search box and links to the Northwest portal (MyNorthwest), the directory and the A-Z index.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468