New USD Website Features Planned

New USD Website Features Planned

University Web Services is planning to roll out two major upgrades at the end of May that will improve the look, function, and usability of key website features.

The USD website was last redesigned in 2015 and a global USD menu was launched in conjunction with the new website. Since then with one click site visitors have been able to access the site search, the top navigation of the website, tailored audience links, and key USD resources. While usage patterns for this feature are quite high – it is easily the most-used feature from the USD home page, for example – there is always room for improvement and change.

On Tuesday, May 30 a new streamlined version of the USD global menu will launch, which retains much of the same information of the original version while greatly improving the user experience. Most notably the search feature and the menu are now separate functions, which means that searching is now a one-click behavior. This improves the search experience on all devices and platforms, especially mobile, where the old approach could be quite cumbersome depending on the particular mobile device being used. The menu portion of the dashboard will now be a smaller fly-out rather than a dashboard that takes over the entire screen; in testing the new menu with USD's primary audience–prospective students–users seemed to be able to digest the links and information more rapidly with this approach and use it as a launch pad for further exploration of the USD website. The global dashboard will be rolled out to every USD website with the exception of the following school websites which are not redesigned within the new USD template: the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the School of Law, and the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering.

Also on Tuesday, May 30 a new and improved USD directory will launch. This will replace what has been known as 'Find People' and allows the ability to search for people and departments from one centralized search box. Filters will be available to drill down to specific departments and individuals depending on your selections. Faculty and staff directories have been rolled out with every school website redesign since 2015 and the web team was able to leverage this data and merge it with Human Resource employee data to create the new directory. As a result directory entries can now include contact details as well as biographical information, research, expertise, and a professionally shot headshot. We plan to enhance the directory post-launch by offering voice-recognition for easier searching for a mobile phone on-the-go.

We are continually striving to improve the USD website experience and would appreciate any feedback about these new features once they are launched. Feedback is welcome any time via our online website feedback form

New USD dashboard

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