The redesigned news site for the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan (retired in 2021) showcases high-quality stories, videos and images in a way that is engaging and easy to navigate, reflecting the best practices of national and international news sites.
The revamp of the news center enabled us to provide content to our users in the many ways that they might seek it out, whether topic-based or by medium. It separately highlights the research and campus stories that are the bread and butter of most university news centers while also showcasing more resource-intensive endeavors such as video and long-form feature stories.
I led the design and development of this site over the course of 16 months. Deciding the look, feel and functionality of the website required coordination among the news content creators, who understood what the site needed to do to serve readers and overarching college goals; web content creators, who understood what the site needed to do to serve departments as well as the college; the web designer, who produced effective and attractive layouts for each page type; and coders who understood the limits of WordPress but also found creative solutions to bring the dream to life.
To do so, I began with a week-long Design Sprint, bringing all the stakeholders and creatives together to rapidly ideate, prototype and test. This allowed us to establish goals and priorities early, make mistakes quickly, and emerge with a strong blueprint for success.
Analytics showed that users viewed an average of 13 percent more pages which ties to our primary goal of on-site exploration, and each visitor spent an average of 204 percent more time on each page.