The helsinki.fi website of the University of Helsinki is a one-stop shop for content related to research, applying to the University and teaching as well as a broad range of Open University studies. It is being redesigned in stages. The first element to be revamped is the main website, to be released in late February and early March.
The main website covers the University's diverse educational offerings, information on research and its results, collaboration opportunities as well as facts and basic details about the operations of the University of Helsinki. The site offers smooth transitions to news, the people finder as well as faculty, research group and degree programme websites.
New content for nearly 17 million users
In terms of size and user numbers, the University of Helsinki website is exceptionally large. Last year, it attracted a total of 16.5 million visitors who recorded 42 million page views in all.
One of the key goals in the redesign project has been for users to find in one place all of the educational offerings of the University as well as all information related to teaching.
“In March, a comprehensive degree programme search will be released, encompassing educational offerings from bachelor's programmes to doctoral education,” says Paula Durston, project manager for the redesign.
Last year, the increasing popularity of openly available teaching and courses was clearly in evidence in how the University’s website was used. On the new site, the University’s continuous learning opportunities are more prominently displayed:
“Open University studies are an example of new content on the website, and they will have been moved from the separate Open University site to the main site,” says Durston.
The new website also offers a broader overview of the research conducted at the University, from individual researchers to institutes, from disciplines to research groups and from strategic research profile-building areas to Centres of Excellence. Correspondingly, sustainability and responsibility will be provided improved sites in the spring.
For users, the new website serves as a window to the University:
“Our aim is to make the University’s research, learning and education efforts accessible to all through the helsinki.fi website,” says Head of Communications Susanna Rautio.
In addition to content-related improvements, particular attention has been paid to results and suggestions gained from user testing. The central improvements to usability are increasingly user-friendly navigation and a redesigned search feature, while the visual identity of the website aims for timeless freshness.
Gradual redesign of helsinki.fi
Careful consideration was given to the release date of the main website, with the annual schedule of student admissions playing a role in terms of the recently completed application round for international master’s programmes and the soon-to-begin joint application procedure.
“Also in terms of support for content producers and project management, redesigning an entity comprised of more than 30,000 pages as well as hundreds of unit and research group sites produced by 1,800 content producers has to be carried out in stages,” Rautio says.
News will be transferred to the new site in the spring, and the people finder and open positions later this year.
Popular faculty websites will be released in late spring and the summer, while new degree programme and research group sites are to be published towards the end of the year.
As the new pages start functioning under the helsinki.fi domain, the addresses of faculty, research group and other unit websites remaining on the current website will temporarily be transformed into the form ‘www2.helsinki.fi’. Individual sites and pages will still be accessible through redirection.
Disruptions possible on the release date
On the date of the website release and potentially for some time after that, disruptions may occur when using the helsinki.fi site. We will announce any service interruptions in advance and in conjunction with the release.