Creating a whole new aalto.fi – visuals and structure in the making

The project for renewing aalto.fi and Inside was kick-started at the end of 2017, and it’s going forward at full speed. The aim of the project is to create a digital extension of our campus – a whole new communications platform – which provides an easy starting point for everyone’s day. This blog has been set up to keep everyone at Aalto up-to-date on how the project is proceeding, and it will be updated by us, the project team, around once a week.
Aalto renewal blog image - yellow graphic

Why the renewal?

In short, the new aalto.fi users need to easily find the information they are looking for. The communications platform will be an important communications tool for both internal and external users. The goal is that aalto.fi offers an excellent user experience and makes finding information, performing tasks, as well as finding collaboration partners as easy as it can be. This can be achieved through designing a new user interface with an easy navigation and editing functions.

What has been done already?

During this first stage, content from aalto.fi and Inside has been combined, where feasible, and we have started editing the texts. This, after numerous Aalto Editors’ Days events in December–March to assist content owners and editors create more enticing articles with the defined target groups in mind. They are: students, professors, researchers, service personnel, lecturers, alumni and partners. We’ve held workshops with various stakeholders to get more in-depth insight into those aspects that should be considered on the new site.

Edited content has been moved to the new content editing platform – Drupal. The new visuals and structure, as hubs, are being designed, and the first wireframes were presented to the Aalto community in early 2018. The main hubs are Study at Aalto, Research & Art, People, Collaboration, Aalto University and Services. A special attention has been made to improving the search function, too.

The current, first stage in the renewal, is close to the finish line this spring 2018.

What’s next?

As the structure of the site has been re-created, the content needs to be re-categorised to fit the new site logic. We will also continue arranging clinics and meetings with stakeholders in order to receive feedback and comments on what has been done, and to give them guidance on the new aalto.fi.

Graphic of the structure of the new aalto.fi

From a technical and design point of view, we are finalising all the user interface components, such as navigation, buttons and typography, making sure they are clear, and the visuals work. All this, together with the edited content, will help editors in the work they will do with their content after the demo version is published.

In addition to finalising the aspects needed for the demo, we are working with the future in mind. For example, the Study at Aalto hub will still contain the programme descriptions, where they’ll be created and updated, and only mirrored to other relevant hubs for accuracy and consistency.

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