Today is the day a project launches that I can finally talk about: the Penn State home page redesign. Yes, you heard me. Today marks the first time in over a decade that the home page is changing.
Actually, today’s change is a relatively small one, and only the first of several changes that will be made over the next several months. This effort, which started last September, is an amazing process, and unlike anything I’ve seen here at Penn State on this scope. We’re talking about taking web design to an entirely new level, and doing things the right way. Research. Usability studies. Focus groups. Iterative design.
I know, right?
If that wasn’t enough, there were some unprecedented requirements that aren’t usually mentioned in the same breath at a 23 campus institution of higher education. Openness. Engagement. Digital storytelling. Transparency. Yes, transparency. (I know, RIGHT???) This redesign story is going to be documented in public, in full view of the world, and with every effort to engage the watching world in a discussion. Perhaps even more incredibly, yours truly gets to be a part of it. I get to tell our story from behind the scenes, to show our process to the world, and to blog about what we find as we go through this story together.
No pressure or anything.
As of 6:06am this morning, our first iteration was online. We are highlighting three of Penn State’s amazing strengths: academics, research, and global impact. We’ll be talking about it on all the usual channels–the Penn State Facebook page, the blogs, and of course, Twitter. Watch the realtime conversation by following the hashtag #PSUsite. Talk to us. Tell us what you think. Because we actually want to know.
Remember, this is only the first of a number of iterations over the coming months. Like everything else, it’s a process. Follow our journey at www.psu.edu by following our story at storyboard.psu.edu. Can’t remember the URL? No problem. We’ll help you. Just look for the link that says it all: We’re updating.
Small steps. Big changes. I’m practically giddy with excitement.
UPDATED: Penn State Live did a story on the #PSUsite redesign which goes into much more depth about the backstory. Again, it’s just a really amazing process with some really amazing people.