UH to Deploy New Web Site

July 9, 2007

More than 2,000 people, including prospective and current students, faculty, staff and alumni, were engaged in research and testing exercises to help hone the design and content of the site. “By empowering content owners to communicate more effectively within a more unified Web presence, students, customers and stakeholders will benefit,” said Dennis Fouty, associate vice president for information technology and chief information officer.
The University of Houston’s marketing plans go high-tech as the institution’s Web site gets an extreme makeover to better serve and communicate with its key audiences.

“The redevelopment of the Web site will further our strategic objectives by helping the university better inform prospective students of the great educational opportunities we offer,” said Don Foss, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

The Web project’s primary focus was to transform www.uh.edu into a visitor-centered Web site — structured according to the needs and expectations of visitors rather than by institutional boundary lines or governance.

“The Web site is our first impression for many of our publics,” said Michael Rierson, vice president for university advancement.

“Research shows that students can form an impression about a university within a few seconds by looking at its Web site, so it is critical for our site to respond to our key audiences’ needs and
interests,” Rierson said.

Administrators plan to debut the first phase of the project, about 600 pages deemed most critical, in August. The second phase will integrate additional pages and include the implementation of a content management system, software that makes it quicker and easier to update content on the Web.

The Web site project began last year through a partnership between the divisions of University

Advancement and the Academic Affairs’ Office of Information Technology. UH hired mStoner, a national communications firm specializing in higher education Web sites, as project consultant. Visit www.uh.edu/evolvinguh to learn more about the new UH Web site, review the research and check out design prototypes.

What's New?

This fall, visitors to www.uh.edu will find:
• nearly 600 redeveloped pages
• new user-friendly design and navigation
• audience-specific gateways
• helpful checklists and resources
• abundant photography
• useful announcements
• feature stories and profiles

Staff reports