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Monday, September 25, 2023

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SDSU has unveiled a new, more immersive homepage as the first step of an overhaul to the university's web presence. SDSU has unveiled a new, more immersive homepage as the first step of an overhaul to the university's web presence.

We are Live: SDSU Website Redesign Improves Accessibility, Readability improves storytelling around the Aztec experience, notably targeting prospective and current students, and their families.
By SDSU News Team

San Diego State University today unveils a new digital doorstep with a more immersive homepage, using updated photography and video to tell the story of SDSU in the first and biggest step of a sweeping overhaul to the university's web presence.

With new functions and pages geared specifically toward current and prospective SDSU students, as well as their parents and families, the redesign marks the first major update to the site and its navigation since 2014.

Highlights of groundbreaking research and scholarship, options for on-campus living, opportunities for student engagement and support services and a variety of uniquely SDSU experiences are more prominently featured in the new homepage. The site was designed and developed to be accessible to users with differential abilities.

Additional features include an events calendar, information on living in San Diego, the ongoing development of SDSU Mission Valley, about SDSU Imperial Valley and program offerings, all aimed at showing SDSU’s potential for students as “a place to power your dreams.”

“Digital technologies and expectations around accessibility have drastically changed in mere years,” said Chief of Staff Brittany Santos-Derieg. “We have optimized our site to better accommodate different mobile technologies, to strengthen branding across pages and the improved readability of our website. The site we launched today is far more indicative of who we are at SDSU and of the great impact we have as a university community.”

SDSU’s Information Technology Division and the Department of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs (StratComm) led the work, part of a campuswide initiative to improve the overall user experience across the domain, and across a range of mobile devices as well. Input from across campus, and from current and prospective students, helped guide the effort.

“The website redesign initiative is the result of a collaborative team effort that brought together our technical, academic and student communities,” said Jerry Sheehan, vice president for information technology (IT). “We want everyone who comes to our digital doorstep to be able to quickly find exactly what they need, and we want those who will soon join our considering becoming part of SDSU to more readily understand our campus, services, and institutional story.”

IT and StratComm are continuing work with SDSU’s colleges, departments, programs and other units for a gradual migration to the centralized content management system, which will result in additional updated pages with enhanced readability and accessibility. 

What’s Different, What’s New 

In addition to improvements to the site’s design and layout, new functions have been implemented in the site’s updated version, to include: 
  • Simplified navigation, making it easier to quickly identify relevant information about the university, including its colleges, programs and student services. 
  • Easily accessible statistics about SDSU, including research dollars generated, the number of degree program and certificate offerings, university rankings and other details about the university’s positive impact. 
  • Stories about SDSU students, including first-person narratives about student experiences. 
  • Subtle animation, updated photos, video content, fonts and typography, strengthening the brand and improving overall readability.
  • Buttons supporting key prospective student actions, such as visiting the university, applying to the university or seeking information about the university’s programs and support services.
“The foundational aspects of this entire project have been improved accessibility, data security and to optimize our website for mobile devices,” said Sheehan.

Notably, the ongoing Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) reflects California State University’s ongoing commitment to providing access to information resources and technologies to individuals, regardless of differential ability. 

IT and StratComm welcome feedback on the redesign. To comment,fill out the feedback form.