UMSI relaunches si.umich.edu

If you are reading this article, you may have noticed a significant change in how it’s presented. Our new web presence debuted in this new beta version in the first week of July, marking the culmination of a comprehensive rebuild refining all aspects of the site’s design.

It's still in beta testing, so if you find anything that isn't working the way you expect, be sure to use that "Provide Feedback" tab on the right side of your window there - we appreciate it!

We had many different groups of users to consider for the site, and planning for all of their needs was an important challenge. We didn't want to make a major break from the carefully considered design that launched in 2011, but significant changes were required to keep the site accessible and up-to-date for the growing number of ways and places in which you use our services.

For our tech-savvy readers: this philosophy of managed change is most prominently represented by a truly responsive design for the site - one that redraws what you see based on the device and screen size you're using to view it. In the interest of keeping the lower level site infrastructure current, we upgraded to Drupal 7 and implemented intelligent content caching to deliver information rapidly and reliably.

For everyone: look for an increased emphasis on news and fresh content on the home page, an increasing role for our presence in various social online communities, and fewer clicks to get to the information you want to see. In the coming months, we will refine the experience to change what you see based on who you are: a member of our community, or a visitor from the general public. 

UMSI students, faculty and staff were all involved in the creation of the new design, from the graphics and information architecture to the coding, content management, style sheets and implementation.

We're hoping you won't notice too much of a change today: just that the site will work better - and faster - than it ever has. Pages with lots of content (our directory listings, for example) now feature continuous scrolling, and users on platforms ranging from wireless phones to HD desktops will notice the site responds better to their unique work environments. Take it for a spin, let us know what you think, and look forward to continuous improvement!

POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 2013