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Website Redesign Project:Background & Goals

Project Purpose

The website redesign project is the university's effort to refresh its Web presence through improved design, structure, user experience and maintainability.

Background

Following recommendations from its Enrollment Management and Strategic Plan initiatives, the university recently launched a project to refresh the ODU Web presence.

As the university's farthest-reaching marketing tool and most-used repository of institutional information, the ODU Web site serves an extraordinary amount of constituents both on and off campus. To better meet the needs of all users and to represent Old Dominion University to its many audiences as the modern, multicultural institution it is, the redesign aims to:

  • Incorporate new branded designs that convey our rigorous academics, cutting-edge research and collaborations, cosmopolitan community and modern campus;
  • Create a more interactive and engaging site;
  • Present a focused, easy-to-navigate site; and
  • Create pages that speak directly to the needs of ODU's internal audiences.

Project Goals

  • Redesign the Old Dominion University website to align with the University brand
  • Restructure the website to focus on usability and navigability by develop an information architecture that focuses on site users and departs from the hierarchical website structure based on the University's organizational chart
  • Create consistency in website presentation, information and experience across all University units; present the website as one cohesive unit, rather than a patchwork of separate entities
  • Remove duplicated and outdated content; implement standards that discourage duplicated and outdated content
  • Implement a Web content management system (WCMS) to allow individual units to maintain their own content (except for data from authoritative sources) and allow these content owners to focus more on content and less on its presentation. The WCMS will provide consistency in look, allow the re-use of content, provide better management and other features to assist in achieving project goals.
  • Use plain, common language for website content, introduce "institution speak" when necessary and immediately define "institution speak" terminology
  • Improve content relevance and search engine optimization through the creation of clear, relevant and timely website content
  • Identify authoritative sources for data, utilize those sources for display of data on the website and implement standards that prohibit the re-creation of data from authoritative sources