Fairfield.edu Welcomes the Class of 2015 with a Website Refresh

Submitted by Lisa Calderone MFA '11 on September 2, 2011

Web Communications has updated the fairfield.edu website with a navigation and design refresh to welcome the Class of 2015 and the rest of the Fairfield community back to campus. We solicited input from several audiences and in response implemented several changes to give site visitors a fresh, informative look at the University.


Now you’ll find a new, drop-down navigation bar that doesn’t obscure the page’s content, and a clean, refreshed look that presents admissions, strategic themes, profiles, news, and events in a constructive, easy-to-read manner. We’ve also created an editorial calendar for the featured stories on our homepage, but more on that later. First, let’s take a tour of the updates.


Features


Based on feedback from several site audiences including faculty, staff, and students, we’ve made the following changes to the home page to improve navigation and site design:


1. Adjusted the top navigation bar to a simple, “vertical” drop down that is functionally hidden at page load, and then revealed by user interaction. The advantage with this solution is that the drop-down menus do not obscure page content, including images.


Here is the navigation at first glance (closed):



To open for more link options that were previously accessed horizontally, click on the grey-boxed “more links” on the right-hand side of the navigation:



Now you’ll see the “open” version:



2. Keeping with web best practices and trends in higher education, moved the “Fairfield University logo” presentation into a banner at the top to allow for the incorporation of editorial and video capability in the image area.



The “strategic icons” presentation has also been moved into a bar below the image area to free it up, as follows:



3. Streamlined the promotional “banners” into a column on the right to allow for prominent display for admissions and advancement messages, and to give more space to Fairfield’s news and events.



Editorial Calendar


Web Communications has also added an editorial component to the home page that will be useful in pursuit of Fairfield’s ongoing marketing and communications goals. The 6-prong editorial calendar will rotate feature stories highlighting the 6 “A’s”:



  • Academics

  • Affairs (Student)

  • Admissions

  • Arts

  • Advancement/Alumni

  • Athletics

Feature story emphasis will be on constituent accomplishments and University accolades, with flexibility for special occasions, such as the current welcoming message to the Class of 2015. News from the press room and upcoming event announcements are now front and center underneath.



  • Have a story to share? Staff writers in the Division of Marketing & Communications would love to learn more and consider it for either online or print publication. Submit your story idea!

  • Have an event to promote? Make sure to contact the account manager in your area to cover all appropriate venues.

  • Looking to profile students, alumni, or faculty for your program? Send them to our new profiles database for consideration.

Ongoing Input Welcome


Many thanks go particularly to the Web Advisory Group, Admissions Marketing, and administration for their support in helping Web Communications develop this website refresh. Further input from all is welcome – please contact webmaster@fairfield.edu.

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