In order to deliver a marketing tool that strengthens the University of South Carolina’s brand and promotes its academic, research and service initiatives, a small but important list of principles is guiding the redesign effort.
Based on best practices and guided by research, the new design strives to:
- Reinforce the university brand: The Web design presents a strong sense of identity that goes beyond the singularities of the logo and the garnet and black color palette. Regardless of the page of entry, there should be no mistake that a website visitor has landed at the University of South Carolina.
- Deliver a user-centered design: A major challenge for sites the size of sc.edu is providing meaningful navigation for users with no knowledge of the university or its organizational structure.
- Balance engaging content with ease of maintenance: In conjunction with its CMS underpinnings, the design must strike a balance of elegance, engaging interaction and ease of maintenance by content managers ranging from novice to expert.
- Be viewable on screens of any size: Responsive design is an emerging practice that allows a website to rearrange and resize itself depending on the size of the screen it is being viewed on, ensuring that whether the user is on a desktop computer, a tablet or phone, the site will be useful and usable.
Because the goal is a self-service tool that each unit can use to publish their own web content, one additional principle should guide each person creating and managing content:
Be clear. Be consistent. Be concise. Demonstrate that less is more. Strive for less quantity and more quality. Rather than putting the burden on your audience to find the information they are looking for, help them out by parsing the volume of information you have into the essentials and then lead them to more detailed information if they desire it. Site visitors don’t mind clicking if they feel they are getting closer to the information they want.