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USF unveils new Web site

A new and improved University Web page – flashier and easier to navigate – premieres today.

It boasts a revamped search engine, compacted pages for each college and a comprehensive contact list.

Site collaborators hope the new design eases some of the headaches the old University Web pages gave students.

“I’m sure all the information was there, it just wasn’t worth it to use the site. I went on Google instead,” said Andrew Thibeault, a freshman majoring in chemistry.

The main site will include dynamic Flash elements and an enhanced color scheme, with quick links that will change according to what is most important at the time. The home page will also list the major events happening each day.

One improvement is the refurbishment of a search engine that previously provided lackluster results. It now runs on a technology that forces the engine to provide the most-visited links that relate to a search topic. If users still cannot find what they are looking for, there is a list of contacts related to the search subject.

The academic pages are compact, and each college controls its Web page. No longer will users have to navigate through five different pages to find the one they need, said Angel Arcelay, webmaster for the new site.

Another new feature is the alphabetical contact list, which provides each department’s Web page, number and description. Rather than searching more than 100 Adobe pages, users can look through a campus directory, now permanently on the Web site’s header, to find any faculty member on campus.

Fifteen students participated in a usability test for the old Web site, and their comments were used to take direction in editing the site, said Arcelay.

The main complaint was the inability of many users in finding useful information,

he said.

For Arcelay, the debut of the new Web site couldn’t come soon enough. He has counted down the days on a slip of a paper outside his door for weeks.

Today it reads ‘0.’

“I’m certain that (everyone) who comes to this school wants the same accessibility,” he said. “Students, faculty and staff will be able to get the same


Ashley Davidson can be reached at (813) 974-6299 or