Have you noticed Carolina’s new look? Our online facelift was long overdue, but I think it was worth the wait. The new www.unc.edu, with its fresh news stories and features in the foreground, and colorful seasonal scenes from our beautiful campus peeking out from behind, is as bright and inviting as a friendly smile.
But ours is not just another pretty face. The new unc.edu is also more functional and brimming with content. We’ve always known we have thousands of stories to tell about the great people here and the exciting work they do. Now we get to share some of those stories in a way that does them justice. We’re keeping the homepage fresh by adding new Spotlight stories every week, and with news, calendar feeds and the Flickr stream of photos by people like you, the site’s content will change frequently. We’ve also added social media links so that web users can access those information sources easily.
Spend a few minutes getting familiar with the site and you will find all sorts of treasures. Click on Meet a Tar Heel to find out more about one of our faculty, staff, students or alumni. Click on Discover UNC for a peek behind the scenes at some of Carolina’s research and programs. Click on Interactive Tour to take a virtual visit to our landmarks.
And while there’s more user-friendly information than ever on the pages devoted to our internal audiences of faculty, staff and students, we have plenty of features that will appeal to the 3.2 million unique visitors our homepage has each month, especially those of you who live in the area. We hope you will take advantage our new events calendar with its multiple ways to search. Looking for something special to do? You can search the new calendar by date, by event category (arts, athletics, readings) and by audience. For on campus events, the new calendar not only tells you the location but also shows the venue on a map, very handy for those not as familiar with our campus.
Long months of careful planning and hard work went into the creation of the new homepage. University Relations and Information Technology Services partnered on the site’s production, and an advisory committee of faculty, staff and students guided the efforts. From four initial designs, the committee chose two to present to the campus community on the redesign blog. I had my say about those four preliminary designs, too. (I won’t tell you if they picked my favorite, though.) People expressed their preferences, and their comments led to improvements in the design that resulted in the new site. Blog readers who commented were among the nearly 1,800 people who — through e-mail, usability testing or group discussions — helped shape the site and its content.
Our look will keep changing. Even great facelifts need retouching now and then. So bookmark us or make our new homepage yours and watch us evolve. You’ll like what you see.