University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Greetings,

We are in redesign mode for several sites, including the University of Minnesota home site. We've determined this would be a good time reevaluate the standard web header and footer that we require for all UofM websites. The issue is how.

We've made decisions in the past about what links go in the header and footer based on what kinds of items are globally useful. Simple enough. But...we will also be launching a new and improved web portal next year and the push from management is toward the elimination or reduction of internal links on what is supposed to be our externally-focused site.

I need to figure out how to evaluate the links we currently offer in our header and footer and what links we might want to add for the next iteration.

How do you determine your header and footer links? For those of you using the larger footers, why did you make that choice? Are people using all those links?

Thanks for your insight!

Tags: content, footer, header

Views: 197

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

For our global header nav, I've been tracking every click as an event in Google Analytics for several months. It's pretty clear now which links are popular and which are being ignored. I also use Crazy Egg to see clicks on the current homepage. That provides great leverage for removing links that might be politically sensitive. As for adding new links, we considered what was important for prospective students while keeping it as minimal as possible. We plan to go from a 100+ link megamenu to 6 simple tabs. Audience landing pages will act as junk drawers for internal needs (students, faculty, staff, etc).

Our footer has evolved over the years, from minimal to a fat footer, and back to minimal. Stuffing content down there like news and events never got any traction, but surprisingly the "jobs" link gets a ton of attention. We plan to keep it minimal.

Using Google Analytics, as Erik suggests, is the best way to discover which links are "in play." You could also do a focus group with prospective students, or you could try card sorting -- a venerable stand-by technique.

At Widener, our audience paths are in the header; public facing and partnership related links, with some exceptions, are in the footer. I think it's a good compromise on the "fat footer" concept. 

IMHO, larger footers (or so-called "fat footers") are not particularly useful because they offer a way for the project team to conveniently avoid making any decisions about what not to include, and therefore what the visitor gets is an overchoice of links. Let's call it "link shock." And of course, that's never good. The key is making the complex look simple. 

Sounds like you're starting from a good place by focusing on internal versus external links, though. 

Don't forget to factor mobile presentation into your evaluation criteria. That may influence your thinking about whether the link is in the header or the footer. In addition, you should also plan to improve your internal search results. In my experience, navigation and search are symbiotic. If it's not apparent in the navigation, they'll search for it.

You may find this link helpful: 

http://www.gerrymcgovern.com/new-thinking/vital-importance-first-click

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Loving all the gadget ideas! Have you submitted yours? http://omniupdate.com/campaigns/gadget-challenge/2014/"
7 hours ago
Sean Walsh posted a blog post

The Results are in: TERMINALFOUR Higher Education Web Survey

In our first annual higher education web survey report, almost 250 individuals and 169 higher education institutions reveal where they focus their online marketing activities, how they measure their online efforts and how they engage with their audiences. Discover the results for yourself by downloading a free report today: http://www.terminalfour.com/survey2014/See More
10 hours ago
Mike Tackett is now a member of University Web Developers
yesterday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Look who’s responsive now! Clark College went live with their new site. Congratulations! www.clark.edu/"
Wednesday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"  How well do your campus emails render on mobile devices? Read about our Email Campaign Manager in today’s blog post! "
Tuesday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Nominations for the third annual Critics' Choice CMS Awards are closing Oct 1! Don’t forget to submit OU Campus for consideration. Recommended categories include: Best Enterprise JAVA CMS, Best Cloud CMS for Enterprise, and Most…"
Monday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"  After the mad rush of classes starting, how do you keep your web editors energized for the rest of the academic year? Read how Lower Columbia College does it in today's blog post!"
Sep 12
Profile Icondavid wickins, Alice Nguyen and John Hartley joined University Web Developers
Sep 12
Seth Meranda posted a discussion

Seeking an Web Interactive Producer

I'm looking to add someone with HTML/CSS and UI/UX experience to my team at Concordia University, Nebraska. We're located just outside Lincoln, NE.Position Summary:  This position serves as a member of the marketing communication team and provides leadership and strategy for the creation, implementation and maintaining of web and email productions used in promotion and advancement of the University's mission.General Duties:Implements, designs and optimizes user interfaces for cune.edu and…See More
Sep 11
Nancy R. Bailey posted a discussion

Web Development Specialist

The Institute for Transportation Research and Education at North Carolina State University is looking for a web development specialist (technology support analyst).  To provide support and consult on web development, design, coding, and modifying hosted websites.  Provide web application development and web communications support, as well as maintain duties for web-based projects which include interactive multimedia, graphics, tutorials, and social media.  Knowledge of and experience with…See More
Sep 10
Maggie Slater commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Such great information within the talk! Thanks for sharing!  :)"
Sep 9
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Missed yesterday’s E-expectations talk with Chris D’Orso, Stephanie Geyer, and our own Lance Merker? See it here."
Sep 9
Sara Clark posted a discussion

Missouri State University seeks new media specialist

Missouri State University is accepting applications for a new media specialist in the offices of university communications and Web and new media.Position comes with superior benefits, including group health insurance, life insurance, retirement, tuition waivers, wellness programs and professional development opportunities. Learn more about benefits.Responsibilities:Works to ensure that assigned websites and social media content,…See More
Sep 8
Profile IconAmy Filardo and Jeremy Cumbo joined University Web Developers
Sep 4
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Central Connecticut State University went live with their responsive website. Great job!! www.ccsu.edu"
Sep 4
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn more about our 2014 Gadget Challenge with today’s blog post! "
Sep 3
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Part 3 of our E-Expectations series available on our blog! Get the facts you need to improve your best resource—your college website. "
Aug 29
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Please note that OmniUpdate will be closed this Monday in observance of Labor Day. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday!"
Aug 28
Beth Hastings replied to Beth Hastings's discussion Columbia College site redesigned - take a look!
"Thanks - I appreciate it! It was a  lot of "new" for us. Personally, I'd done a little bit of responsive design (took a class) but nothing at this level. I'd not done HTML5 or really delved into CSS3 and then finding…"
Aug 28
Patricia Pokrocos posted a discussion

Web Developer

Position SummaryThe School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) in the midst of an exciting period of growth in its capacity to prepare leaders and solve societal problems, and seeks a web developer for the large-scale project of moving the Schools current website to a more modern platform. Reporting to the Director, Engineering Communications, the primary role of the web developer is to setup and build the framework for the new website (utilizing Drupal). The person in this position will…See More
Aug 27

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2014   Created by Mark Greenfield.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service