The changes and enhancements most focused on in the redesign of this website was to build a site that is functional and intuitive to the user when browsing through our site. The following features discuss more in depth on what was done to achieve these goals.
Consistent, easy-to-follow navigation structure
Ecampus has a vast amount of information to present to our users through the site. Because of this complexity, Ecampus has developed a structure that allows users to easily navigate through the major topic areas of the site. When the user is in such an area, they are presented side navigation topics developed specifically for that area. This simple interface will help users find the information they are seeking quickly and easily without being inundated by overly complex and confusing navigation schemes. This navigation structure is consistent throughout the site and allows users to find most information, on average, in two to three mouse clicks from the homepage. Directed searching and casual browsing are both supported.
- Online Schedule of Classes
- Provides real-time information on Ecampus's schedule of classes. The schedule allows students to view courses alphabetically or by subject. In addition, there is a Print My Schedule option, which allows users the choice of printing their own listing of course subjects.
- Search powered by Creative Commons Nutch-based Search
- While users are on the Ecampus site they will have the ability to search the entire site by using the search box located in the top-left corner of the page. The search engine is based on the popular Open Source technology Nutch.
- Printer friendly pages
- Pages include a print icon that allows users to print pages, without unnecessary navigation, headers and footers, that will fit the user's printer page dimensions.
- Site map
- The site map provides the user with an up-to-date view of the site's complete navigation hierarchy.
- Staff directory
- Contains a complete listing of Ecampus staff, plus a more detailed breakdown of our departments and the functions they serve.
- Expandable/Collapsible Menus
- The side navigation has a built-in feature that allows users to display all main and sub menu links at any time. This allows us to present a more simplified navigation scheme by default, with the option of expanding to include the entire navigation, if the user so chooses..
Dynamic content is a window into Extended Campus
- News items and spotlight
- Links to news items are located on the homepage and are updated daily to provide users with current Ecampus events and news.
- Photos and by lines
- Throughout the site, users are provided with a taste of Ecampus through the use of featured photos and by lines. Features include success stories, useful information on Ecampus, highlights on Ecampus degrees and programs, and any other featured stories that demonstrate how Ecampus excels in the areas of outreach, teaching, learning, and research.
Stronger university identity
The OSU and Ecampus word marks are prominently displayed in all page headers. The Ecampus site has a defined color palette that closely resembles OSU's website and colors. OSU's tag line "Open minds. Open doors™" is displayed in the side navigation bar on every page.
Best practices in web design
The Ecampus website has been designed to provide the highest level of accessibility to all users of the site. To achieve this goal, Ecampus has set out to design and implement a site that is coded by the current standards and adopts the best practices and philosophies in accessible web design.
- Fast loading pages use low weight graphics.
- Website standards used:
- Pages are CSS2 compliant while most pages are XHTML compliant. The pages have been tested on multiple browsers and platforms to ensure standards compliance and to ensure browsers that do not adhere to standards will render the page in a logical and readable manner.
- Best Practices adopted:
- Pages incorporate "liquid design" which allows the page to load at the most optimal size according to the users monitor.
- Users have the ability to increase the font size whenever appropriate.
- Side navigation menus expand and contract without use of any client-side scripts; this allows the user to remain oriented in the site while still providing a rich user interface.
- Bread crumb navigation is provided to show the user at all times where they are located within the navigation hierarchy.
- To orient the user as to the page they are on, navigation links are disabled for all links to the current page.
Please contact us with any questions or comments you have about our site. As always, we welcome your feedback!