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A site is born: New campus gateway site launches
17 Apr 2000

new gateway siteIt's been a long time coming (three years but who's counting?) but finally the wait is over -- early this morning, UC Berkeley's new web site was born.

The site was developed not only to aid the people who study, teach, and work at Berkeley, but also to attract prospective students. (It's decision time, remember.)

The new site, which was built entirely in-house by the web team in Public Affairs, was the result of an extensive research and development process. As a "gateway" to Berkeley's web universe, it provides multiple logical pathways to the campus's 600-plus web sites, making information and services more accessible than ever.

"Like other contemporary web sites, the new Berkeley site pays attention first and foremost to its function of conveying information -- while still retaining good visual design," says Public Affairs Web Director Andrew Baldock.

For Baldock, Web Analyst Brad Falconer, Web Editor Paula Murphy, and Designer Linda Currie, the challenge was to design a site to serve Berkeley's vast and varied audience -- from campus students doing course work online to potential applicants on the other side of the globe. The new site also needed to convey the Berkeley spirit and build a sense of community -- all while being accessible to those with visual disabilities, and quickly downloadable for those with slow computers.

The Public Affairs Web Team

Public Affairs Web team members Andrew Baldock, Brad Falconer and Paula Murphy.
Peg Skorpinski photo

To help meet these needs, the web team provided on every page: multiple navigational links, including one to the revamped A-to-Z list of web sites; a search field; a photo of the campus and its community; and built-in spots for broadcasting news, campus events, and announcements or "spotlights." A full text-only version of the site makes it accessible to all.

"It's about globalizing -- yet individualizing -- the Cal experience," says Murphy. "The home page gives the whole world a common starting point for exploring Berkeley."

Not to be forgotten are the all-important prospective students, who are increasingly judging universities by their web sites. The site's developers hope that the new design will impress this audience by showing that Cal is a web-savvy institution (via the site's functionality) and that it's an exciting place to study (via the new online tour).

"The Internet changed the world in less time than it takes to get a degree," says Falconer. "As much as anything, the new home page is about proving to students that the campus has what it takes to stay at the forefront."


Read more about the new gateway site:

Introducing the all-New Revamped gateway to world's most-visited educational Web domain makes its digital debut
(Berkeleyan, 12 Apr 2000)

Striking at peak moment, UC Berkeley overhauls its Web site, goes after top students with new recruiting tool
(Press release, 14 Apr 2000)


Using this Site (Helpful tips for using Berkeley's new gateway site)

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