Improvements to Aalto.fi main navigation
Improving the usability of our main website and the findability of content are two of our key focus areas this year. We have recently deployed significant changes to the main navigation based on analytics data and user insight. We have aligned the items for both logged-in and logged-out users though the ordering is different based on content needs. The “For personnel” link that used to be in the page header has been moved next to the “Student guide” link and the quick links section has been simplified. Finally, the “Tools” menu item now features a “most used services” section for easy access to the most used tools. In addition to content changes, the visual style has also been improved to make the menu more compact and aligned.
Continuous improvements based on data
User feedback and usage analytics are a central part of our decision-making process when improving aalto.fi. When planning this change, we have considered our wide range of stakeholders and the similarities and differences between the content needs of logged-in versus logged-out users. Our aim is to offer quick access to major content needs for our community who are logged-in while also providing a scannable and easily digestible overview of everything we offer to new visitors who are not as familiar with our university. The ultimate goal is that everyone can find what they are looking for, but this is not an easy task due to limited space and the wide variety of content needs our users have. For perspective, aalto.fi sees about 2 million users visit our site each year and over 15 million pages are loaded.
The Aalto.fi site is continuously developed, and new features, changes and improvements are released every two weeks as per our deployment cycle. We will continue to monitor the usage and feedback of the main navigation and make changes when and where they are needed.
What are the main changes?
Links to the main internal content areas Student guide and For personnel can now be found side by side in the so-called “quick links” section of the hamburger menu. These links take user to the pages that support the day-to-day of aaltonians and offer paths to other content supporting work and studying. The goal of the “For personnel” hub is to be our intranet front page and we will continue to develop it based on your feedback and analytics data. As always, remember to log in to the site to ensure that all internal content is visible. This is especially important when using the search functionality. The gap vacated by moving the “For personnel” link has been filled by “Apply to Aalto” to help potential students navigate to the relevant study options available to them.
All the internal links to tools, services or instructions are moved under the same section. Tools and services section will offer direct links to the most used tools for both personnel and students from now on. Links for research and teaching personnel have been moved under the Most used services.
Other changes coming this year
We are excited about what we have in the pipeline for the rest of 2023. We are adding the finishing touches and beginning to roll out changes to the search engine which we hope will yield clear improvements to search results. We are also working on visual improvements to the site that will be implemented over time and we will of course continue to improve the performance and accessibility of the site.