University Marketing has been providing website updates throughout the year about information campus community members need to know. However, this week, they are providing a sneak peek about one of the biggest changes for the new website: Navigation.
Navigation for websites has changed dramatically the last several years, mainly for two reasons:
- The first is mobile traffic. Most people (especially students) do much of their web browsing on their phone. This changes how menus and navigation need to be configured. Mega menus and multiple navigation menus don’t work well on screens the size of your phone. Right now, traffic to semo.edu is evenly split between desktop and mobile devices. But, there are places on the current website that aren’t responsive (easily viewable on a phone), so more users are forced to seek out the information on desktop.
- The second is Google. It’s changed the way we find information. Today, search is navigation. The search bar is where a majority of the people will start to navigate a new website. And, honestly, a lot of them will start on Google to find the information they need on your website!
These two factors led the designers to streamline the future semo.edu navigation from the current global navigation you see below into a simpler version.
Current Global Navigation:
New Global Navigation:
This new navigation offers web users three choices, starting from the right.
- The “hamburger” menu is synonymous with a collapsed menu. This choice provides a “takeover” menu (meaning the menu will literally takeover your screen for easy browsing). It houses the main sections of the website a prospective student would be looking for: Academics, Admissions & Aid, Life at SEMO, and Student Support.
- The second is the search function, where many users will begin.
- The resources menu will provide quick links based on your audience type. So, whether you are a current student or faculty and staff member, you’ll have a menu with that audience’s most frequently accessed pages.
Navigation will be a big change on the new website, and University Marketing is sharing some images of what you can expect. It’s always a little unnerving when the things you know are moved, but the design changes have been informed by data and feedback to both make our site perform better technically and provide a better user experience.