University Web Redesign

Interim Web Page Launch Complete - June 29, 2017 

The University of Southern Mississippi’s interim web pages are now live!  We invite you to visit usm.edu to explore more than 100 new pages, including these key changes: 

  • Home and Locations: The University’s Home page has been fully redesigned. You may access pages specific to our campuses, teaching and research sites through the new Locations highlight page.
  • Research: A new introductory page highlighting the University’s Research enterprise has been created, along with a featured research overview section on the new home page.
  • Undergraduate Programs: All web pages for Undergraduate Programs have been redesigned to create a more visual, consistent, and interactive experience for prospective undergraduate students.  Graduate program pages will be addressed in the next phase of the redesign project.

If you notice what appears to be an error in the text or photos on one of the new web pages, please email web@usm.edu.

As you navigate the new interim web pages, use this resource list if you need direct access to a page you cannot find: 

As a reminder, all web pages will be redesigned in the coming months as we implement the comprehensive web redesign project. We look forward to continuing to work with the University community as those plans unfold. 


June 9, 2017

The University of Southern Mississippi’s interim web pages will be launching in the coming days!  As you may recall, the University is in the process of a comprehensive web redesign, and these interim web pages will be in place until the future designs for the long-term project are implemented.  For additional details, visit the University Web Redesign page.

What to Expect

We anticipate launching the interim web pages over the course of the next week, unless unforeseen circumstances arise.  More than 100 new pages will be published, and it may take a few days for each page to fully load.  You may see fluctuations in content or design as changes become live.  To assist you during the transition, a list of direct Resource Links is provided at the bottom of this message.

A follow-up email message will be distributed to notify you when launch is complete.  We will also request your feedback at that time to help us identify items that may need to be addressed after launch.

Specific Changes

  • Home: The University’s home page has been fully redesigned, replacing the current versions of usm.edu and usm.edu/gulfcoast.  A new web page dedicated to highlighting the University’s campuses and other locations will serve as the gateway to reach information specific to those locations.  Following launch, the primary entry point for Gulf Park-specific pages will be usm.edu/gulfcoast/about, which will be accessible through the locations highlight page.
  • Admissions: New introductory pages with admissions-specific information have been created for prospective undergraduate, graduate, and international students.  Following launch, the web address choose.usm.edu will point to these new pages so that our prospective students have access to the most current content.
  • Research: A new introductory page highlighting the University’s research enterprise has been created, along with a special research overview section on the new home page.
  • Undergraduate Programs: All undergraduate program pages have been redesigned to create a more visual, consistent, and interactive experience for prospective undergraduate students.  Graduate program pages will be addressed in the next phase of the redesign project.

Thank You

Many individuals across the University community provided content for the new web pages and/or assisted with testing.  THANK YOU for your contributions!  We will continue to address your feedback as we work on the comprehensive redesign project.

Resource Links


May 9, 2017

Have you heard?  The University of Southern Mississippi’s website is in the process of a comprehensive redesign!  This multi-phase project will continue throughout the coming year as we rebuild our entire website.  The future site will be fully functional on any size computer, phone, or tablet, and it will allow us to update, refresh, and reorganize existing content while infusing vibrant imagery and interactive features into our future web presence.

Many of you provided valuable input through focus groups conducted last year, and your insights have influenced the vision and plan for our future web presence.  We appreciate your engagement, and we look forward to continuing to work with you to further develop the long-term plan this summer.

What about now?

Last fall, the University’s Executive Cabinet and Deans approved a plan to update a select number of web pages that are highly visible and are important to prospective students’ web experiences.  Over the course of this year, academic departments and other units across the University have been involved in writing and reviewing content for these interim web pages.  The interim pages will be released in early summer of 2017 and will be in place until the future designs from the comprehensive web upgrade are implemented.

The interim pages include a new, interactive home page; new introductory pages for prospective undergraduate, graduate, and international students; new undergraduate degree pages; and special highlight pages focused on the University’s research enterprise and our multiple teaching and research locations.  It is important to note that only these pages will be updated during this interim transition period, but all departmental web pages will be redesigned during the comprehensive upgrade.

What is the long-term plan?

Last summer the University began working with an external partner, mStoner, an experienced firm that has developed web-based communication solutions for higher education since 2001. mStoner’s team has provided recommendations to create a vision and plan for the University’s collective web presence.  Their recommendations include new designs and detailed plans to reorganize our website, separate internal from external content, and tell the University’s story in a visual, engaging way in order to reach our key audiences effectively and efficiently.  We will share additional details with the University community in the coming weeks.

How did mStoner form their recommendations?

mStoner’s recommendations were informed by three main elements: focus groups and interviews with nearly 200 USM students, faculty, staff, and prospective students; an in-depth analysis of our current web presence; and a review of competitor, peer, and aspirational websites.  Best practices across institutions of higher education and select websites outside of higher education were also incorporated to produce recommendations that are unique to USM’s current circumstances but reflective of industry trends.

What about my department’s pages?

Departmental pages will be included in the long-term redesign work.  We will work through deans and college communications/web staff to collaborate on department page content.  For now, departments can update text and photos on their existing web pages, and the updated content can be moved into new design templates as they become available. 

What will happen to web pages that were not included in the interim redesign?

For now, the design of most existing web pages will not change.  As a result, there will be some navigation differences when moving between new and existing pages.  The newly designed pages will have a white background, and pages that are not included in the interim update will still have their current black/gray or gold/gray background.  All web pages will be redesigned in the coming months.

Who is leading the web upgrade work?

The University’s comprehensive web upgrade is co-sponsored by the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.  Staff within iTech and University Communications are carrying out the day-to-day responsibilities associated with this work, with the assistance of external vendors for certain aspects of the project.

What has already been done?

Two changes that impact the usability of the University’s web presence have already been made:

  1. Departments have been asked to include their physical office locations in their departmental contact listings rather than just listing their mailing addresses to enable students to find offices more easily.
  2. Most notably, a new website search feature was implemented last fall to improve search functionality and ease of finding information.

This web page will be updated periodically as new information becomes available.