Friday, February 25, 2011

Brown School of Engineering Launches New Website

After more than a year of designs and meetings, the Brown School of Engineering is pleased to unveil its new Drupal-based website. A web committee of professors Janet Blume, Christian Franck, Bob Hurt, Domenico Pacifici, David Paine, and Anubhav Tripathi along with staff from Public Affairs and University Relations, Computing and Information Services, and Engineering Communications have all worked together to update content, improve the functionality and design of the site, simplify navigation, and make the look and feel of the site more pleasing.  

The key differences between the new and old sites are apparent right on the front page. Regular visitors to the site will notice that the introductory story has been eliminated and a smaller piece of it was placed into the picture with a link. This allowed the news content to move ‘above the fold’ – a significant goal since this is the content that changes on the front page. The calendar format was changed to be more easily readable and will be utilized more for seminars and events and will be available on every page. In the footer, there are links to all of engineering’s social media pages – these are now much more visible and easy to find, making it easier for users to connect with engineering in a number of different ways.

Overall, the goal was to simplify navigation with no more than three clicks to get to anything. Some information was moved into the main menu or moved up to accomplish this.

 On the old site, there was some outdated information in several places and that was removed or updated.

The new site is stylistically similar to the main site and will conform to how future departments will design their sites. The School of Engineering has been a leader in this regard. Overall, only three fonts were used (Vitesse, Lucida Sans, and Georgia), making the site much cleaner and easier to read than the mix of fonts and styles that appeared on the old site.

The site has been live for about two weeks and has received favorable reviews from internal and external constituencies. If you have comments, questions, or suggestions on the site, please contact