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University unveils new Web site design

March 26, 2009

A new look for the UW-River Falls Web site was unveiled Monday, March 23, to fit in with the University’s marketing plan and to get the look more consistent throughout the entire site.

“What is happening is more of a cosmetic change,” Director of IT Services Steve Reed said. “It’s not redesigning the Web site, per say.”

The new look includes a new color scheme and photographs and putting all the navigation on the left margin.

“What we’re doing now is just changing where the navigation might be positioned, but the navigation is still the same,” Reed said.

A white and gray background is replacing the previous red background and the collection of photographs that used to appear on the homepage has been replaced by six success stories from UWRF students.

The success stories come from different departments at UWRF and highlight individual students’ accomplishments. The featured students include Jenika Boersma, Sam Vorphal, Sarah Rykal, Chawntou Yang, Kyle Jero and Rachael Anderson.

The new look of the Web site is designed to match the University’s marketing plan.

“We’re trying to align it as best we can with our marketing materials, so that when students or parents or anybody that receives this marketing material goes and visits our Web site, they’re not going to look at it and go am I sure I’m on the right site?,” Reed said.

Another reason for the new look is to be consistent throughout the University’s Web site.

The whole goal is when somebody goes to a page away from the main Web site, for example, a department’s page, they’re still going to know it is UW-River Falls, Reed said

“We want our visitors, faculty, staff, students, to have the same experience, but at the same time be able to meet their needs,” Reed said. “Right now, our Web site is not capable of doing that. Our first step is getting the look consistent.”

The integrated marketing plan, which includes the Web site, has been going on for almost two years, but the Web site has recently been getting more attention.

“The Web site itself has really been getting a lot of focus on it the last four to six months,” Reed said.

The integrated marketing plan started in the summer of 2006, according to the Publications Office Web site.

“The UW-River Falls external relations committee recommended hiring a consulting firm to develop a more effective branding and marketing plan for the University,” according to the site.

After a nationwide search, Minneapolis-based Woychick Design was chosen to guide the marketing plan.

While the recent changes are only on the surface, a more extensive redesign will be coming in the future that updates more than the look.

“[A redesign] will occur, and it will then have new features,” Reed said. “But we’re not there yet.”