New ideas and fresh faces are essential to driving science forward
The University of Chicago Biophysics department approached the Usman Group seeking a refreshed version of its current website to be used primarily as a recruitment tool for potential students. Though the department had all of the key information covered, they needed to update their site with a more modern look and feel. We were given the task to make the site more approachable, while staying true to the same branding and style that the department had been using for years. The content of the previous site was visually condensed and text heavy, making it difficult to read. The hierarchy of the page structures also needed to be refined to better direct potential students to the information most important to them.
Through a number of strategy meetings, the Usman Group worked closely with the administrators of the University of Chicago Biophysics department to develop an intelligent solution that would allow the current content to be restructured in a more user friendly way. We incorporated more imagery, and leveraged an on campus photographer to take new pictures of the staff and students. In return, we worked these images into a series of custom graphics that allowed us to showcase the important two-mentor-to-one-student relationship, a highlight of this particular program. These images also factored into the restructuring of the student page to better present student profiles and accomplishments. The improved imagery, combined with a different approach to typography, allowed the site to open up, and become more readable and accessible. We also adjusted page hierarchy to make the elements that are most important to potential students a focal point – for example showcasing program highlights and overviews more prominently on the Home page, and adding a slider of student stories to the Student page. Finally, we cleaned up the code, and updated the site to HTML5.