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Amid abundant growth, IE launches new website

November 3, 2023 website

The UNC Institute for the Environment (IE) recently launched its new website on Oct. 16, 2023. The URL remains the same, but is now integrated into a seamless and coordinated experience with Sustainable Carolina and a host of new programs and initiatives at the Institute.

“The new website comes at a time of amazing productivity and growth in IE and will be a valuable tool to connect with our varied constituents,” said Mike Piehler, professor, director of the UNC Institute for the Environment and chief sustainability officer at Carolina. “I am so grateful for our communications director Emily Williams’ vision and determination to develop a new platform to share the Institute’s work.”

As the digital front door for the public to access information on the Institute’s programs, people and projects, the website is a critically important tool. It often is the first and only way users get information about the Institute.

Last year, the Institute partnered with UNC ITS Digital Services, UNC Creative and UNC’s Digital Accessibility Office to reimagine the user experience of the website and optimize the information architecture and navigation. The new website was thoughtfully designed to consider usability, cutting down on navigation and keeping the site simple.

The new design features styled images to create an organic and friendly feel while showcasing the beautiful imagery of the work that is done day in and day out at the Institute.

A priority of the new website is featuring the inspiring stories of the students, faculty, staff and supporters of the Institute to demonstrate Carolina’s value to the state and beyond.

Branded modules and common assets were developed and designed to create alignment among the various units within the Institute including consistent landing pages featuring styled images and multimedia, news and content blocks, testimonials and other branded design features.

The new website is built in the Heelium theme and hosted by UNC’s ITS Digital Services, which offers free web hosting and content management to UNC’s schools, divisions, departments, centers and institutes. The service is built on a customized version of multisite WordPress, a web publishing and hosting system that is flexible, scalable and easy to use. It is optimized for mobile devices and follows UNC’s digital accessibility policy.

The Institute will roll out a web governance policy in the coming weeks to provide a roadmap for maintaining the website and protecting the investment made in the new design.


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