As the electronic front door to the University and its face to the world, the home page of the University’s Web site must further the institution’s academic, research, and public engagement efforts by effectively serving the needs of users.
The home page best accomplishes these goals by:
- Quickly getting users to the information they seek; and
- Giving visitors a defined impression of who we are and what we do.
All of the content on the home page, including links, text, and images, should be devoted to these tasks.
Home Page Links
Navigational links on the home page serve best as aggregators of similar information that direct users to the interior pages which contain the content they seek. Links on the home page do not indicate the status or value the University places on any of its programs, resources, employees, or organizations.
The immense amount of information, resources, and services provided by more than 700 campus units, all with a Web presence, makes it impossible to provide a direct link to all of the University’s resources on the home page. Rather than presenting an array of single links, the home page will instead act as an information concierge by providing multiple ways to swiftly get users to the information, resources, and services they seek.
- Search functions
- Campus Web
- Electronic Directory
- Directory services
- A-Z list of all campus units
- Heavily used services
- Express Email
- Navigational links
- Main navigation
- Resources for self-identified audiences (such as future students, current students, etc.)
- Colleges and Schools
Programs, events, resources, employees, or organizations of special note will be highlighted in areas of the home page devoted to transient content. These include:
- From the Chancellor
- Campus Highlights (formerly Front and Center)
- UI Now
- Featured Resources
- Here & Now: Images of Illinois
Timeliness and Importance Criteria
The “special content” featured in these sections will have attributes of timeliness and importance. It will reflect the excellence of the campus and must meet at least one the following criteria:
- Content is ground-breaking;
- Content is being covered by national news media or has the potential to generate such coverage;
- Content is being published in industry journals and appeals to a lay audience;
- Event will bring national recognition to Illinois or underscores its status as a premiere institution of higher education;
- Content is relevant to current events; or
- Content is vital to the work/life of the campus community and targets a broad campus audience.
Changes to Content on the Home Page
Home page content is managed by the analysis of actual user behavior data. This means the content is chosen not by what we believe users should be doing but by what behaviors they actually exhibit.
If user behavior data (frequency of visits to pages, search terms devoted to specific resources, etc.) clearly indicates a change in user behavior, content will be added or removed from the home page to address that change.