TO: Campus Community
FR: Chris Cole, Director of Marketing and Communications
RE: NKU.edu launch Wednesday around 2 p.m.
Tomorrow we will launch the fifth version of NKU.edu. With a new design, new functionality and enhanced Northern Kentucky University branding, we are confident this will be the best edition of the website we have ever offered.
Meet the new face of NKU. This launch, which includes a new homepage and new top-level pages, is the result of much collaboration with numerous units across campus and strong support and work from Information Technology. The website is our primary marketing tool for prospective students and is a key vehicle to communicate with all of our other stakeholders, including faculty, staff, current students, alumni and the community. Last year, the university's top-level web pages received more than 835,000 page visits per month. It is crucial we continue to ensure that our web communication is up-to-date, user friendly and modern in look and feel.
Five years ago, we worked with Stamats, a higher education marketing consultant, to centralize the web in look, content and branding. All units on campus were involved, and the Executive Team decided that our primary audience for the NKU homepage and top-level pages would be undergraduate prospective students. Identifying our primary audience helps guide written and graphical content on the homepage. The research provided to us from Stamats gave us a solid foundation on which to build. Additional research and focus groups helped us shape the look and feel of the new homepage, which still has the same functional areas: audience-driven links, top navigation, featured sections, news and quick links.
A 2011 report from higher education consultant Noel-Levitz found that prospective students and their parents look to websites first for academic programs (majors), followed by admissions information and then cost. The new homepage has a "Find A Major" feature that allows prospective students, parents and even current students to easily search and find an undergraduate major. We worked with Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Admissions to ensure the accuracy of the majors list. The feature will show hints as users type, offering suggestions. For example, typing "bio" will pull up Biological Sciences. In addition, the user will always be presented with the option to click on a list of all majors. Quick Links have also improved. We still have the same quick links, but in addition we have Suggested Links that can be modified for student, parents, and employees.
Phase III of the rebuild project will include the remainder of official NKU sites that must be converted to the new design and are managed by our new content management system, Adobe CQ5. Although our top-level website traffic is today only around five percent from mobile devices, this will continue to grow. We are moving forward with our mobile web strategy in tandem with the redesign to provide you with a responsive website that is friendly on all devices. Over the next few weeks, the web marketing and communications team will meet with Faculty Senate, Staff Congress and the Student Government Association to provide sessions to talk more about the web redesign process. The Office of Marketing and Communications manages the web redesign project with strong support from IT. Questions should be sent to Jim Nilson, director of web marketing and communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new site will go live around 2 p.m. EST, on Wednesday, August 8. Downtime should be minimal. A list of important links are listed below, should you need direct access to web mail, myNKU, etc. A feedback form and more information is located at http://marcomm.nku.edu/web-marketing-and-communications/webredesign/new-nkuedu.html.
Links you might want to bookmark:
Web Mail: https://access2.nku.edu/MyMailSSOAuth/Account/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fmymailSSOauth%2f (student)
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NKU.edu launch Wednesday around 2 p.m.
TO: Campus Community