New website reflects university brand update, focus on prospective students, and improved digital experience

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

The University of Iowa will launch a redesigned homepage website at on May 26 that will focus on prospective students and will reflect new institutional brand guidelines.

Colleges and units across the university will be able to adopt the design of the website over the next year, bringing cohesion to all UI web properties and greater consistency for all web users.

In addition, the redesign accomplishes these goals:

  • Better positions and distinguishes the UI among its peer institutions while helping the university meet its business goals
  • Creates a more compelling and accessible experience for site users, especially prospective students
  • Increases awareness and visibility of the UI through improved search engine optimization 
  • Allows for continuous improvement based on user feedback and performance 
  • Allows other campus websites to provide a branded user experience

The new homepage site will reflect best practices in modern web development, including accessibility, mobile-first design, streamlined navigation, and more integration of video content, as well as a greater emphasis on the needs of prospective students.

While the current site was innovative when launched, it became clear that one of the university’s primary brand assets needed improvement, says Brent Gage, UI associate vice president for enrollment management.

“Research consistently reveals that a university’s website is the most trusted source of information for prospective students, counselors, and parents.  As a result, we need a site that not only articulates the new brand but also lays the foundation for more investment in content, features, and technology that our website visitors need and expect,” says Gage.

While the new website primarily will serve the prospective student audience, campus users still will be able to find key resources—such as the directory, links to Employee Self Service, and others—in new locations on the redesigned website.

Campus users will notice the following changes:

  • Faculty/staff looking for links to HR and email can now find these resources in the main footer menu.
  • Current students looking for links to MyUI and ICON can now find these resources in the main footer menu.
  • Users seeking links to alumni, athletics, and health care information can find those featured prominently in the main site menu.

The A–Z Search, People Directory, and Site Search functions remain on the new site and can be accessed by clicking the Search field in the top menu bar.

The redesign is part of a new brand identity for the university that will be unveiled in early June.

“The University of Iowa brand that is conveyed through our marketing communications should reflect both who we are and who we want to be as an institution. In the future, competition for students and resources will only increase,” says Peter Matthes, UI vice president for external relations. “The website is the hub of the university’s web presence and a ‘front door’ to the institution for many people. This redesign was a top priority as we prepare to implement the new Iowa brand.”

The project is a collaboration between the Office of Strategic Communication and Information Technology Services, with additional contributions from the Graduate College and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“One of the most important aspects of this work is how we’ve come together as a campus and charted a course that not only delivers this redesign, but establishes a new standard of collaboration as we continue to invest in a digital presence that will benefit all colleges and programs,” says Steve Fleagle, associate vice president and chief information officer.

The redesigned homepage site is currently under construction, but can be viewed at

Questions or comments are welcome and can be provided through the feedback link in the footer of the website.