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About the Website

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Welcome to the new umn.edu

In fall 2010, University Relations began planning for a redesigned U of M home site to respond to feedback and deliver more customized audience views.

On May 26 we launched. Here are some key features of the new site.

Small image of home page.Find out more about each section of the new home page.

Customized audience views

The new University home page has eight different audience views (including “no preference,” or the default home page). Each view is tailored for a specific audience.

Future students are able to read compelling stories about the pursuits of current students. They have quick links to admissions, student life, and campus visits.

Current students can also see stories about their fellow students and are able to access email, Moodle, Graduation Planner, and graduate student resources at the click of a link.

Faculty and staff each have their own views with quick access to Brief, employee self-service, email, people, and University governance.

Donors and alumni, parents, and sports fans will find popular links and stories designed just for them.

The Change My View drop down near the upper right of the page makes it easy for visitors to switch between views.

Example of an extended dropdown menu for staff.An example of a dropdown menu on the staff view showing staff-specific links in addition to the general links.

For detailed information about elements of the new page, see our annotated image.

Topic-based navigation

Rollover navigation with drop down menus can be found across the top of the new home site. The topics focus on information that our site’s users find critical to navigation the U.

The main links in each drop down menu are consistent throughout the audience views.

Extended links are added to the drop downs when there is deeper content available for a specific audience based on the topic.

Feature stories

A number of feature stories rotate on each view. Audience-specific stories make up the first two or more stories. These are combined with stories that highlight the University’s Because campaign as well as stories that show our commitment to our mission.

Feature stories appear in a slide show that can be controlled using the controls at the bottom left below the image.

Slide show controls for the home page stories.

Example of home page spotlight


Below the stories there are four spotlights where featured programs, people, opportunities, and events are highlighted.

Each view has a list of upcoming events from the University’s Events Calendar in the far left spotlight area. The content of the remaining three spotlights will rotate regularly.

Spotlight content varies based on the view you've selected.

An example of the search field.

Search the web and for people

The search has remained in the top right section of the University’s web header.

The search allows you to search for both people and web content all from one spot.

Example of footer links.

Maps, Directories, and Parking

Links to University maps and directions, the online department directory, and the Parking and Transportation website are all in the footer at the bottom of every web page.


The new home page design uses cookies to allow your web browser to remember what audience view you’d like to see the next time you visit the home page.

We know that some people and/or units clear their cookies on a daily basis. If you or your unit does this, and you want to be able to access the audience view of your choice without reselecting it daily, you can bookmark or set your home page to one of the following URLs. This will force your cookie to be set so you will always see the view you've selected when you first open the home page. You will still be able to change your view as well.

Behind the scenes

The redesigned home site is housed in UMContent, the University-supported web content management system.

The coding for the site takes advantage of HTML5 and CSS3. Updated University web templates will be available later this summer.

Continuous Improvement

We're not done yet.

Now that the site is live and we're getting feedback and working on minor fixes, we will continue to make adjustments and improvements.

Here's some of what we have planned:

Glitches Happen

Infrequent visitors to the home page may lose their view preference in early June.

Due to an error in how the cookie that stores individual audience preferences was saved, some visitors may experience a one-time loss of their saved view preference. Regular visitors to the home page are unlikely to experience this.

This glitch has been fixed and will not affect home page visitors more than once, if at all.