It’s more than just a pretty face.
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) unveiled its new Web site this week (http://www.fas.harvard.edu) with a brand-new look, but also new bones, blood, and limbs – a reorganized structure, a more fluid navigation system, and the addition of features designed to help the user access information more easily and learn more about FAS.
“I’m very pleased with the redesigned site,” said William C. Kirby, dean of FAS. “My hope is that members of our community – our faculty, students, and staff – and people who’d simply like to know more about our community, will find what they need and visit the site often.”
The Web site was designed and coded by Web editor Patricia Corey and Web programmer Taryn Hogan of the FAS Communications Office, with the help of David Heitmeyer, of FAS Computer Services.
The site’s new design, chosen from 15 designs originally created by Corey, is clean and simple, and built for easy navigation. Pop-up menus allow users to get to most pages in “two clicks” of a mouse. Users can get to any other part of the Web site, and any division within FAS (the College, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Extension School), from every page. Information is cross-referenced so that users can find what they need not only by content, but by user group; for instance, links reading “students,” “faculty,” “staff,” “alumni/ae,” “media” and “visitors” direct a user to those pages that serve his or her needs.
“We completely reorganized the site, after months of research, to make the information as accessible as possible, and the site as intuitive to navigate, as we could,” said Corey.
Hogan also created a sortable report, so that users can call up lists of, for instance, all FAS department chairs, department administrators, or lab directors.
The redesigned site also offers more information about FAS, such as an FAS Facts page, a biographical page for the FAS dean, news about people and events at FAS on the homepage, and resources for internal and external users, such as a hometown news service for students, Web and print style guides for FAS staff, and general resources for the media.
“FAS has so much to offer – there are always interesting classes, and esoteric exhibits, and brilliant guest speakers, and hustle and bustle of all kinds going on in all the parts of our community,” said Corey. “The Web site is a ‘virtual’ version of something which is so rich and complex in real life.”