Hungry for the latest news from your favorite university?
Find stories from all of IU’s campuses, or just from Bloomington or IUPUI. Search media resources, IU experts, or media specialists. Read top stories identified by key topics or tags. Or see news focused by audience: IU staff, faculty, or alumni.
You can do all this from a single news site, News at IU. The site launched in the new IU web framework in 2017. Press releases and newsletters have been redesigned and branded, and the news sites maintained by several schools on the Bloomington campus are integrated into the new system. All meet IU brand and accessibility standards and are mobile optimized.
Development was a year-long collaboration among multiple groups within IU Communications: News and Media, Client Relations and Strategic Partnerships, Creative Services, Informational and Emerging Technologies, Internal Communications, and Visual and Audio Services.
W3, honoring websites, online advertising, and marketing, was impressed enough to award the IU News at IU website a Silver award in the school/university website category in the 12th annual round of their competition. Entries were judged on creativity, usability, navigation, functionality, visual design, and ease of use.
The greatest challenge facing the development was completing and launching simultaneously the three main components of the redesign: the website, a new format for news releases and newsletters, and the updated custom school newsrooms. Meanwhile, News and Media made sure that the old sites provided up-to-date information until launch.
Under the hood
Each site maintains its own information stream, with news.iu.edu an aggregator of the two core campus sites and the source of university-wide news and stories. The sites feature a new tagging system that allows greater segmentation and flexibility in sorting content. News releases for IU, IUPUI, and Bloomington and six newsletters (Inside IU, Inside IUB, Inside IUPUI, Everything IU, Jag News, and IU In the News) were redesigned and reprogrammed to integrate with the new tagging system and to match the new styling of the redesigned sites.
Custom tagging more easily connects users to desired content while the coordinated redesign creates continuity and supports brand identity.
The News at IU website symbolizes teamwork across the IU Communications teams and offers a compelling example of leading by example to create a “one-stop shop” resource to increase the visibility of news from Indiana University.
Through this robust collaboration, the IU Communications team showcases the collective stories and impact of our faculty, staff, and students.
Overall, traffic sessions (based on comparison of this year to last year) are on average up 190%, referrals are up 128%, bounce rate is 8% (the national standard is 30-40%) and traffic sessions average 1 minute 7 seconds, up 52%.
The news team harnesses website analytics by reviewing a weekly report that details site performance, including top stories for IUPUI, IU Bloomington, and IU overall. Also incorporated is a “real-time data” analytics toolbar to see in real-time how a story is currently performing, including how many visitors are on live on the page, number of pageviews, average time on page, and bounce rate for that particular story.
Over the past year, the News at IU website hosted over 1,000,000 unique visitors.
The team plans to survey faculty and staff late this spring to further probe how our internal campus constituents are engaging with news and stories. In addition, analytics point to the need to further enhance our embedded video capabilities, which is additionally being explored for other communications channels in the newsroom.