The RUG’s communication department has been working on a new version of the website since late last year. In the first phase, the design and user-friendliness of the mobile version of the website were taken care of.
‘We want to give the RUG website a modern look again and make sure that it works properly on mobile devices. Approximately half the people who visit our website do so on a mobile device, and we think this will only increase in the future’, says RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens.
Photos will play a larger role on the mobile site. Laptops and PCs will also show a different website. However, it will work the exact same as the old one. In a second phase, to take place later this year, the structure and contents of the entire site will be modified. This will happen in collaboration with the universities faculties and service departments.
‘One important matter is that we want to drastically decrease the number of pages on the RUG websites, so we can allocate more sources to improving the quality and contents of the site and to make it easier for visitors to navigate the website’, says Deekens.
But that does not mean the job is done, according to the RUG spokesperson. The university’s site is so extensive and has so many different sections and corresponding options, that it is basically never finished.
‘We’ve already got new projects in the pipeline to develop certain design aspects: the profile pages and the pages listing the programmes’, he says. ‘And for both layers we also have requests to make functional changes, and doing that at the same time as a big release such as this is unwise. The project concerning the programme pages will start before summer holidays, and the profile pages will be tackled straight after the holidays.’
The last big makeover of the RUG website was in 2012. Back then, the university launched My University – a platform for RUG employees and students. The platform was inspired by iGoogle, a start page that people could change according to their wishes. However, right when the RUG launched My University, Google pulled the plug on iGoogle, because the search company felt the concept was outdated and underused.
The RUG’s start page was also suffering from a lack of visitors. Employees were mainly irritated that they had to log on to their PC twice to make use of the service.