UMass Amherst Launches New Homepage Suite
The University of Massachusetts Amherst has launched a new homepage suite, including updated Admissions and Financial Aid sites.
“We’re excited by the opportunities the new website offers to tell the UMass story in compelling ways and to share what makes this university such a special place,” said Chief Marketing Officer Key Nuttall.
The website launch is the culmination of a process that began in summer 2019. The university partnered with Digital Pulp, a New York-based digital agency with many years of experience building successful web strategies and sites for universities such as Dartmouth, Georgetown, Princeton and the University of Virginia. The exercise began with a series of meetings to solicit input from stakeholders across the university, including students, faculty, school and college communicators, deans, campus leadership and many others.
The new UMass homepage suite is geared primarily toward prospective students and other outside audiences looking to learn about UMass. Data show that websites are the top source of information for prospective students researching colleges and universities, with the homepage being the most influential. Moreover, research has found that website visitors form an impression in only seconds. UMass Amherst’s website has more than 700,000 visitors annually, with the homepage receiving the most visits, followed by the Admissions and Financial Aid sites. Most visitors to the site are from outside the UMass community, with nearly 70 percent of website traffic composed of first-time users.
Though prospective students and others new to UMass are the main audiences for the new homepage, the site is also designed to allow current UMass community members to easily access information and resources important to them. Menu items at the top right of the homepage screen provide access to “Info for” current students, faculty and staff, and parents and families.
UMass Amherst's new homepage suite leverages state-of-the-art technology, using dynamic, immersive media such as edge-to-edge images and video to share stories about the university’s welcoming communities and its academic, economic and social impact on the Commonwealth and the world. The navigational structure is streamlined to make information easier to find, and the site is optimized for mobile viewing and accessibility considerations to ensure all users can experience the content. A Google customized search box, widely available from the UMass web global banner, returns fast, relevant search results, with the ability to learn and deliver improved search results over time. The back-end content management system allows the university to keep the media on the site fresh and timely, and to conveniently rearrange components as needed. The technology used on the new homepage suite can be leveraged on other parts of the UMass website in the future.
Feedback on the new website can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.