design background image
design background image
design background image

complete redesign & redevelopment
project date: 
The new home page features role-based navigation, dynamic content feeds, and direct links to important information.

Like most educational institutes, Alfred State College's website is large and complicated. When I was hired the website was being managed through a small, proprietary CMS, resulting in frustration and technical limitations. After considering a number of design firms and content management solutions we decided to redesign the site internally (aka: me) and move it over to Drupal.

The goals of the redesign were to increase usability of the site's navigation, adhere to accessibility standards, increase our search engine optimization, and separate the internal content from the marketing content.

the new information architecture

Through discussions with our web committee it was determined that we wanted our site's navigation to be both role based and content based. The role-based navigation allows the user to identify what type of visitor they are and presents them with a "portal-like" page that has customized content and links specific to that role. The content-based navigation is a more typical information architecture. There are content menus specific to various sections of the site, a universal list of priority links in the header, and a site map in the footer for quickly jumping between sections of the site. The content was also re-organized from an external point of view using topics instead of department names.

the new functionality

Utilizing the strengths of Drupal modules like Views and CCK, content has been broken up into smaller chunks for re-use across the site. This makes things much easier for content editors as they only have to make changes once. The new site also gained RSS feeds and improved SEO from Drupal core.

the new design

The design is focused around the information architecture and provides an open and relaxed atmosphere. The layout is "elastic" in that it resizes with the browser window but has limits so that line length does not become unreadable. The elastic layout also works well in alternate devices such as PDAs, phones, and gaming consoles. Javascript enhancements such as the sliding menu on the home page and the floating tooltip text were added on as "web 2.0" bling.