Welcome to the brand new site of the Department of American Studies! As you can see, many things have been changed – let us quickly guide you through many of these and make you comfortable with the new version.
Leaving behind the “sterility” and often too simplistic design, the site has a new “dress.” We realized that it is not enough to provide useful (and interesting) content, it needs to be wrapped in a way that it is a pleasure to look at. We conducted a smaller case survey to learn what the users of the site would like to see and tried to use this information in order to create a mixture of wishes and functions.
We embarked on the difficult road of branding as well: the design elements will be used on various media appearances of the Department, such as posters, letters, and other publications.
We did not want “just another” template or skin that holds the same content and functionality as the previous sites. We wanted to pull together form and content as much as possible: with a more web 2.0-ish outlook, we look forward to a better usability, an easily navigated structure, so that you can get your information with a minimum of clicks. We also tried to present the content in an accessible way. It is important because the site has by now accumulated a considerable amount of information – which needs to be found, understood and used.
The content will be quite focused in order to make the life of our students easier. You can read/watch everything that pertains to the life at the Department, including course offers by the instructors of the Department, downloadable documents (always the latest ones), you now have a full calendar with important deadlines and even US holidays, and we also import student news for your comfort.
The site is planned to be interactive: beside providing useful information on official matters, the goal is to involve students to make the site fully functional – shaping it the way it fits them. The reason for this is simple: mostly students use it, so it is obvious that they need a corner on the web that they really like to come back. It is more than just getting information pertaining to their studies. It should reach beyond the curriculum.
Therefore, based on the student feedbacks, we implemented extensible multimedia funcionality: video section, podcast opportunity, and photo gallery. It is now up to you to fill the functions with meaningful content!
First of all, we are really grateful for our students for the critiques and suggestions that made the redesign possible. Thanks for everyone – including enthusiastic instructors – who support the site and make it a live event.