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By Shelagh Peden, Internal and Web Communications, UCS
After more than a year of preparation, meetings and consultation, a new Concordia central website has been launched. Sporting a new look and better navigability, the website has been organized to give the users what they want, when they want it.
The Concordia home page is the university's face to the world. But we have so much information to present to so many varied audiences that designing an effective home page is a serious challenge.
Enter audience tabs — a clean and concise way to present targeted information to several audiences on a single page.
Our major audiences are listed on the left side of the page and include: future students; current students; faculty and staff; alumni and friends; visitors; and media. Click the audience tab that applies to you and the information presented in the centre of the page will change to meet your needs.
Each area includes news and important notices for that specific audience on the right-hand side of the page. This is also where notices like university closings can be found. An added bonus: if you choose an audience area, it will be displayed again automatically the next time you visit the site.
If you are an experienced user of the old Concordia site you may find this change disorienting at first, but once you become accustomed to using the audience tab that is right for you, you should be able to find information faster and with fewer clicks. Of course, you are free to roam around and explore other audience tabs — you may find something new!
The colourful top area of the homepage, called Telling Our Stories, is a showcase of Concordia's achievements. From teaching and research to student life and community outreach, Concordia has great stories to tell and wonderful people to celebrate. If you have a suggestion for Telling Our Stories, please contact University Communications Services (UCS) and share your pride.
This top area also includes a search box, available on every page, that provides direct access to several Concordia search resources. Type in the search term you are looking for, decide where you want to search — all Concordia websites, the staff and faculty directory, the news, or events — then click Search.
At the bottom of the top banner are menu buttons leading to the main site navigation. These let you reach information without using a particular audience tab. You may recognize these menus from the previous iteration of the website.
Below the audience area is a changing selection of Concordia Highlights. These items will provide direct links to items of interest to many audiences, such as university-wide events or award-winning Concordians.
Finally, at the bottom of every page in the new site is a Tools and Quicklinks bar that contains links to frequently used pages or sites such as the A to Z index, the shuttle bus schedule, the MyConcordia portal, job postings and the libraries. Below that a footer area contains the university address and contact information and similar links.
As you explore the new website, you will discover various improvements, from new campus maps to up-to-date Fast Facts and much more. The site has grown from about 50 to some 800 pages, mainly because a lot of information for prospective and current students, which used to be hard to find, has been reorganized and brought into the central site.
Web Communications, the unit within UCS that created the new look, continues to work with many other areas to better integrate their information with the main website.