Department Unveils New Website

In November, the Department of Physics & Astronomy unveiled its new website, www. physics.utah.edu. This reorganized website was created in-house with the purpose of broadening the department’s mission and presence, as well as fostering a closer engagement with individuals and organizations in both the local and global communities.

 

The department’s homepage welcomes visitors with a clean and uncluttered layout, a more intuitive navigation experience, and dynamic content. New features include the main slideshow, showcasing recent student projects and achievements, the latest department news and events, links to our Youtube channels, as well as NASA’s Astronomy Photo of the Day. Other new features include better accessibility for users, including compatibility with computer screen readers for the visually impaired, the ability to increase or decrease the text size, as well as printing any article or saving it in a Portable Document Format (PDF). In addition to the new layout and accessibility features, the website also offers more content than previously available. There now exists information for visitors including maps, parking and driving directions, a rich department history going back to the University’s beginnings, a Frequently Asked Questions section for undergraduate and graduate students (both prospective and current), as well as a detailed overview of the department’s varied research programs.

Annually, tens of thousands of users visit www.physics.utah.edu for information on star parties, colloquia, academic programs, and more. With the redesigned website, the department is hoping to better help users by maintaining a more modern, academic and research-oriented cyber-environment “I applaud the direction [in which the new site is moving] and the effort”, said Michael Vershinin, assistant professor and chairman of the website committee. David Kieda, department chairman, also noted, “The new website is a collaborative effort from the department as well as the community, and would not have been possible without the help and enthusiasm of everybody involved.”

Over the next several years, the department is planning on further improvements to the website including a dynamic catalog for the department library and stockroom, an enlightening Lecture Demonstration online learning center, as well as enriching the department outreach pages to fully encompass and illustrate efforts in the community.