New Tufts Homepage Launches Soon
The Tufts University homepage is about to get a major facelift, with a new design that incorporates easier wayfinding and more content, including current news and events and a renewed focus on the people of Tufts.
The site, which is slated to launch on March 15, is optimized for use on mobile devices, greatly improving the online experience for users of smartphones and tablets. More than 20 percent of current visitors access the site from those devices. The new site also meets web accessibility standards, an important priority for the university.
“We wanted to create a website that is contemporary, dynamic and intuitive, and reflects the university’s updated visual identity,” says Kaitlin Provencher, an associate director in the Office of Communications and Marketing who led the project. “We’ve gathered content from around the university and presented it in digestible bites that allow any user, in a quick glance, to know what Tufts is all about.”
The university has had five tufts.edu homepages since 1997. This latest iteration, more than a year in the making, was informed by extensive input from faculty, staff, students and alumni, and other users. “The ultimate goal of the new homepage is to quickly get users to what they came to find, while also showcasing great stories and other timely information in the hopes that they discover something new and interesting about Tufts along the way,” Provencher says.
With its increased focus on user experience, the new site includes customized pages providing information and links to relevant resources for individual audiences, including students, faculty and staff, and neighbors. The main navigation features links for undergraduate academics, the graduate and professional schools, research, athletics, and—for the first time—a page dedicated to the arts at Tufts.
Stories about Tufts are front and center, with three main features that will change out frequently. Further down the page are three more news items and a space for highlighting topics trending on Tufts’ social media channels. It’s also easier to find out what’s going on at the university with daily callouts of events that are open to the public.
While many universities’ strategic priorities often get hidden in an “About Us” tab, that’s not the case with the new site. Six themes from the university’s T10 strategic plan have new prominence. Click on global leadership, for instance, and you’ll be connected to a range of stories about what Tufts is doing in the world; a program spotlight section will highlight either a department or a specific program that is related to that theme, and you’ll also find links to relevant resources.
“For many users, the homepage is their first introduction to Tufts,” Provencher says. “It is important that we provide the best experience possible for all our audiences.”
Laura Ferguson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.