UMBC News Site Redesign
The university did not have an adequate platform to share and promote its campus news and partnerships. Articles were published on a myriad of decentralized sites, with no clear way to connect them in a simple, searchable manner. To compound things, the current process for publishing content on the main UMBC site required developer support.
The communications department recognized a need for a central site to house all campus-wide news and achievements. Beginning with a series of discovery meetings with key stakeholders, we created a roadmap for development and launch, focusing on balancing the needs of the university with the goals and interests of the visiting audience.
Using the full WordPress package and a customized template and plugins, we created several iterations of the design and performed extensive heuristic evaluations with audiences. This review not only tested design, layout, and UX, but also gave us insight into language and categorization that resonated most.
The UMBC News site launched in fall 2016, complete with categorization of news items and a sophisticated tagging system to aggregate content across many university sites. The new site has seen growth in visitor traffic of more than 200% over traditional story channels, doubling time-on-site in the process.