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Week of January 24, 2011

Gateway gets facelift as first stage in redesign

The university’s home page, the gateway, will debut a new look during the week of Jan. 31 — one that features a more contemporary appearance, an improved search function and better integration of social media. The refresh, as it is being called, is the first step in a yearlong process that will result in a new and improved gateway, says David Lampe, vice president for communications.

In the upcoming months, the Office of the Vice President of Communications will oversee extensive research into how the university’s key stakeholders — students, faculty, staff and the public — use this resource, and explore ways it can be improved to better serve these audiences.

Lampe says the comprehensive redesign, set to launch in January 2012, will improve the gateway’s already high support for standards, as well as accessibility, usability, performance, security and support for mobile devices. 2012 redesign goals include:

❚ Users finding information more quickly and easily.
❚ Encouraging user participation through social networking and personalization.
❚ A strengthened presentation of the U-M identity to all audiences.

“The gateway not only supports an extensive administrative structure but serves as the university’s public face. As such, it reflects the huge scope of knowledge, interests and activities that make up the U-M experience,” Lampe says.

“Our goal is to make this vast online world accessible to users in a way that is faster, easier and more intuitive — as well as nice to look at — while staying true to U-M’s wonderfully diverse and colorful institutional personality.”

The last time U-M performed a major overhaul of the gateway was in 2006. Michigan Marketing & Design has produced the imminent refresh, and will lead the long-term redesign project.

Down time during next week’s changeover is expected to be minimal. Questions and comments about the refresh or the long-term redesign can be sent to gateway2011@umich.edu.

 

STAFF SPOTLIGHT

Diana Paterno, graduate program assistant, Department of Sociology, on the farming organization Wishing Tree Gardens: “We enrich not just the soil, but the whole community.”

EVENTS

Zell Visiting Writers Series with Mary Gaitskill, 5 p.m. Feb. 10, U-M Museum of Art, Helmut Stern Auditorium.

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