With recent growth, such as a 79% increase in graduate student enrollment in three years, the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) needed a revamped website to help online visitors access information quickly. ARE now has an updated site, which launched in September with expanded performance and a new look.
According to ARE Program Assistant Marina Cinami, the main goal was to make navigation easier. She said, “The new layout really helps to facilitate both casual browsing by interested or current students, as well as their ability to go straight to what they’re searching for without getting lost.” The website’s navigation includes tabs for “Future Students,” “Undergraduates” and “Graduate Students” so that each group can find audience-specific information, such as a list of courses.
The update provides a cleaner look. For example, the home page still lists recent news. But in the revamped version, the amount of text is reduced. Readers get a summary of the latest stories and may select headlines that interest them to get complete content. Older articles are archived and accessible from the bottom of the home page.
Currently, the home page also features upcoming events, like ARE’s popular Income Tax School, and information about the department’s current job market candidates. A permanent link to the Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy website is included, as well.
For those unfamiliar with the work of ARE, the site has pages that explain ARE’s research and outreach projects as well as funding sources. In addition, faculty members have a section that features photos, curricula vitae and contact information.
To redesign the site, Cinami and ARE worked with the College’s Office of Communications Web Team, which includes Patsy Evans, project manager; Nick Hanna, computer programmer; and Kevin Noonan, web designer.