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New information architecture for research

Posted on: 20 December 2011
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Filed under: Design, Programming & Development, Redesign, Research

Most schools manage their research offering differently, which is why we’ve taken a broad view that should appease everyone. Following the website restructure and launch on 31 October, the research centres can now be found in one area.

This is the first step in producing a unique website for every research centre/group. But we must have a uniform approach to how they are structured in the website.

Apart from the differences in terminology between Area/Discipline/Group/Cluster, Centre and Institute, the research that occurs in the University occurs at the ‘Centre’ level.

Therefore, the emphasis is on highlighting these centres that contain projects.

The approach that we will use on the website is that all the centres are highlighted in:

http://www.westminster.ac.uk/research/a-z

Clicking on a link will take you to the specific centre site, eg. Against Breast Cancer research unit

These Centre pages can then be extended and we’d like to invite all the research centres to post their information in these new sites.

We will employ a consistent but flexible structure to all the research centres and are actively creating a template and terminology that will be used throughout all research centres, not just the ECS ones.

A sample template for a research centre will consist of

Home page
> About the centre
> Projects
>>Project 1
>>>More info on project 1
>>Project 2
>>>More info on project 2
>>People
>>News and events
>>Contact us

In addition, some centres may have a need for separate pages that don’t fall into this template. We can produce these pages but we will tackle that on a case by case basis.

We can then feed the news and events into our top level pages, eg. news and events.

We can also dynamically create pages, like staff profiles, which we can pull from the Academic Staff Directory (this area is still under construction).

So we will be left with this structure in the website:

  • Research > Research A-Z > Research Centre > Project
  • School > Research > Cluster (if applicable) linking to the Research Centre

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