Just two taps on the screen and find out where to submit your degree application, how to take an exam, who to ask for what is needed to go to study abroad or how to write a CV. As of today, the new Student Portal is online, enabling students to get all the information they need for their university career. The process, which began in 2020, has made navigation and access to information more straightforward. This information was previously distributed over more than ten different sites, which were not homogeneous and not functional from the student's point of view.
The work of reorganising the institutional portal completely overturns this perspective: it was the students themselves who, through interviews, explained their needs and how they used the site. In this way, the most appropriate graphics and paths were identified to help both freshmen and graduates find everything they need in one place online, from whatever tool they are using for their search: smartphone, tablet or desktop.
Great attention has been paid to the accessibility of information. The new font is Atkinson Hyperlegible, which guarantees maximum readability even for students with dyslexia problems. The overall dimensions are recognisable and allow for adequate reading by the visually impaired, and the characters are not ambiguous. The ease of use of the University portals was made even more important by the distance learning experienced during the early stages of the pandemic, when many students with these problems had difficulty finding both technical information and using the educational content provided.
"We have been working for two years to break down the architectural barriers to communication", Luigi D'Alonzo, Professor in Special Education and the Rector's delegate for inclusive policies said, "and we have tried to get on their side by creating a design system capable of acting as a reference point for all those involved in communication in our University, from institutional websites to brochures. Another aspect that we have emphasised is the contrast between the background and the wording to ensure maximum readability even for the visually impaired".
The portal has a header dedicated to the "hot topic" of the moment: exam or degree sessions, study abroad programmes, while the navigation menu at the top of the page follows the student through the chronological stages of his ideal university path: from the Student Hub services, through the services offered by the campuses to experiences abroad and the world of work.
The release of the Students' website is the first step of a project that the Communication Department of Università Cattolica is carrying out in coordination with the Pro-Rector in charge of communication Fausto Colombo and thanks to the collaboration of the web agency Gummy Industries in order to achieve the overall reorganisation of the University's digital ecosystem. The aim is to encompass what is currently spread over dozens of single-topic, non-integrated sites into six interconnected portals dedicated to the University's target audience: students, lecturers, research, alumni, international students and companies.