A Change Will Do Us Good.
UPDATE: To see the new design go to www-new.ncsu.edu.
What's life without surprises, right? As we are a less than a week away from our official launch we offer this curve ball ... we have redesigned the Flash area on the home page. We did say "beta."
After going through some user testing and feedback over the last month as well as the process of developing and updating content on the site, we decided to make some changes to this area. As you'll see, we have removed the background image that sat behind the feature story. People were having a really hard time reading the white type on the complicated background images (really the biggest complaint of hardly any complaints received). The background colors are now a random rotation of four solid colors built within the site color palette that has been established.
We have also removed the content categories from the strip at the top of the Flash area. What seemed like a good idea was cumbersome. We had great content buried a layer down. On top of that we had up to five stories in each of those categories that we had spent a lot of time developing. That depth just was not being seen by site visitors.
Instead, we have developed the series of thumbnails at the bottom of the Flash area. The area will always have seven stories on the home page and people can see the story content without moving off the home page. Our plan is to update home page features in this area three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) with at least one new video feature per week. The news.ncsu.edu feature (which populates at the bottom part of the home page) will continue to be updated on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Finally, you'll see that we have added a "Dig Deeper" section that is really going to be popular. Basically this will be a quick way to get more information related to a feature story. So, for example, you'll see that with the DARPA story we are linking to you can jump directly to cool YouTUBE footage of the DARPA car at the Virginia raceway.
We hope this will be a big improvement in the user experience.
Here's a jpg of the new home page and within the next day or so you'll see (and be able to interact) with the new design on "beta" site.
Next week will be here fast.