On May 11, Ithaca College launched the first version of what will be a completely rebuilt and redesigned website, which will not only be more visually appealing, but will be easier to use. This is the biggest change to ithaca.edu’s technology, design, content and structure in more than a decade.
Prominent portions of ithaca.edu have been updated with new navigation and structure; a contemporary, mobile-friendly design; a fresh color palette; vibrant imagery, video, and written content; and an intuitive, flexible open-source content management system, Drupal 8.
This release is the first major milestone in the ongoing ithaca.edu overhaul. So far, nearly 350 pages of content are completely new or rebuilt in Drupal, along with 700 news stories from the past two years. The remaining parts of the website are scheduled to be moved or edited in stages, with the web communications team working in partnership with offices across campus. In the meantime, those sections have received subtle upgrades so that they look more like the new site and respond well on mobile devices. Additional content, features, and functionality will be added to the site in the coming weeks and months. Special attention will be paid to the site’s analytics to measure performance and guide future changes.
"Drupal is very versatile, and it’s supported by a large open-source community that is constantly evolving the product," said lead developer Eric Woods. "By adopting Drupal for the new site, we have the building blocks in place to take the site wherever we want to take it next, for many years to come.
Everything, from the navigation to the design, to the imagery to the writing, was created with the audience in mind. "The visual design sets the tone and frames the user experience," said Katherine Malcuria, senior digital user interface designer. "The new design direction needed to speak to Ithaca College's story and community, while being fresh and distinctive, encouraging even those who are very familiar with IC to see it in a new light."
"Our web visitors' thoughts and questions must be at the center of all our thinking. College websites need to be useful and compelling for very different groups of people with very different priorities and interests, and that is a challenge," said Jennifer Campbell, associate vice president for college relations and communications. "But it’s a worthwhile challenge, because we genuinely want to give our audiences a website that serves their needs and brings to life the uniqueness of the college."