USC revamps homepage

New web design features upgraded campus map

The university’s newly remodeled homepage will debut Wednesday.

About 100 other university Web pages will be updated with the new design and content management system at the same time.

Director of Web Communications J.C. Huggins describes the new site design as “contemporary.”

“The site’s not really going to be judged, except by the people on campus, against the old site; it’s going to be judged against the other websites that people visit in the course of the day,” he said.

Most visitors to the site are not students or faculty, but external visitors, Huggins said.

The new design segments information for internal and external guests, so that information for prospective students and parents will be more easily accessible to them. Content meant for current students, parents, alumni and faculty is accessible through gateway tabs at the top left of the screen. That organization removes the “burden” of information not relevant to visitors from outside the university, Huggins said.

“The hope is it’s easier to use for all parties,” he said.
The site will be platform responsive, meaning the design of the site adjusts depending on whether it’s accessed on a computer screen, tablet or mobile device.

Other features of the new design include an enhanced campus map powered by Google with bike routes, traffic information and walking, driving and bicycling directions to and from any university building. The campus directory and events calendar are also redesigned.

The new website has been about 18 months in the making, Huggins said.

Most academic colleges will be transitioning their Web designs at their own pace in the future, Huggins said. The College of Nursing piloted the new format last October, followed by the School of Music in April, Huggins said.

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