UW-Stout News Story

New university website features easier navigation, fresh look

December 5, 2011

A new website went online Monday at University of Wisconsin-Stout to help prospective students, current students, employees and the public more easily access important information about Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University.

"We have felt for a long time that our former website simply was not meeting our needs in a variety of areas,” said Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen. “This new website is a major improvement in many, many ways and will serve UW-Stout well.”

Working with a consultant, a website implementation committee conducted on-campus surveys, held focus groups and solicited other types of advice about how the new website should look, how it should be organized and what it should contain. 

The website, www.uwstout.edu, was built from scratch, starting with a new site structure and the latest in graphics and technology. The former website dates back to 2006.

“Our old website was based on the organizational structure of the university,” said Maureen Carlson, director of integrated marketing, who led the project. “The new website allows users to instantly find what they are looking for through the audience and topic-based menus.”

The effort included transferring content from 6,000 existing university Web pages to the new website.

Besides offering new and more vibrant colors, graphics, photos and videos, the new website is intended to increase ease of use by incorporating three sets of menus: quick links, topics and audience-based. The menus are available on every page of the new website.
  • The quick links are for the Calendar, Directories, Maps, Class Search, Contact Us, Library and Logins.
  • The topic-based menus include About Us, Visit/Apply, Administration, Academics, Research, Students Services, Jobs, Give and Athletics. Drop-down menus provide further options.
  • The audience-based menus include Future Students, Current Students, Parents, Visitors, Alumni, Employers, Business and Industry, and Faculty and Staff. Drop-down menus provide further options.

“High school students and others interested in attending college find information through the Internet,” said Pamela Holsinger-Fuchs, executive director of Enrollment Services. “Having a new website that is current and easy to navigate is critical for our recruitment efforts.”

A major change for UW-Stout is the use of a separate section of the website, or intranet, for students, faculty and staff. This will allow the public site to be free of some information used only by those on campus. The campus-only portion of the website is accessed by providing log-in information.

The new site is wider and contains the ability to display information about special events or announcements in an orange banner. The site, which also contains a mobile site, was developed to take full advantage of UW-Stout’s official social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and an RSS feed.

Carlson said website content authors have been trained. The site was unveiled gradually on campus through various preview and training sessions.

“We listened to the needs of prospective students, current students, faculty and staff, employers, alumni and business and industry partners and are very pleased to roll out this new website,” Carlson said.

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