Welcome to the New IT Site
Posted Date: December 13, 2022
Northwestern IT is introducing its refreshed website, the culmination of a year-long effort to redesign the organization's online presence to better prioritize the user experience. With Knowledge Base, service catalog, and the status of University IT services information shifting to the new IT Service Management Portal, the opportunity to re-envision both the content and architecture of the IT website presented itself. Partnering with the Office of Global Marketing and Communications, the site aligns with current University branding and design standards and prioritizes efficiency, features, and navigational preferences that students, faculty, and staff identified during the project's initial research phase.
Having recently completed preliminary user experience testing, we are excited to unveil the site and invite you to take a guided tour of the highlights below.
- Prominent search: At a glance, users will immediately notice a prominent search under the Get Started section, near the top of the home page. The search returns results from the IT website, such as news articles and announcements or department information relating to the entered search terms, as well as information on service offerings and knowledge articles from the IT Service Management Portal. The search function lists the most relevant results, but users can also opt to filter results to a single source category.
- Request Help button: In addition to the Get Help menu in the navigation, there is now an easy-to-find Request Help call-out button on the bottom right of every page. The button provides information on how to contact the Northwestern IT Service Desk.
- IT service status indicator: In the top right section of the home page, the IT Service Status indicator now clearly displays up-to-date information on the overall state of IT services and systems, including notification of maintenance and any issues.
- Links for quick access: In that same section, above IT Service Status, users can quickly find links to system logins and common self-help solutions.
- Bold home page headers: Users will notice that home page site content is now grouped and ordered more prominently. Bold headers (Get Started, Find an Answer, etc.) more easily guide users down the page.
- Menu descriptions: The main site menu now contains descriptions using less-technical language to help users better understand how information is organized and more easily locate the content they want. It also includes direct access to the IT Service Management Portal, essential information security details, Northwestern IT departments, IT-related projects, initiatives, and policies, and collaboration efforts within the IT community.
- Commonly sought resources information: The Find an Answer section is centrally located on the home page to provide access to the information users most frequently need. There, users will find links to role-based resource pages and popular services and self-service solutions.
- Internal page index: An upgraded left-sidebar on internal content pages acts as an index and helps users keep track of where they are on the site and quickly locate related information without having to return to the main menu.
New to the Home Page
On the lower left side of the page, users will find a timely reminder or useful how-to information.
Visible event descriptions
The events section now displays more event-specific information with fewer user clicks needed.
Reimagined news section
The section better highlights feature stories and need-to-know articles through a format update and the addition of images.
Along with focusing heavily on user feedback, we also gathered key data points from Google Analytics and other internal web reporting tools to better understand metrics, including which areas of the site were most trafficked, those that performed the best, and areas where enhancements were needed. Improving accessibility was also an essential driver in the redesign approach.
In the coming months, we will continue to gather user feedback and perform additional testing to fine-tune the Northwestern IT site. Please be on the lookout for a survey, and feel free to share your thoughts by emailing email@example.com.