In late summer 2023, RUSH University will launch a refreshed version of its website. The updated site will have a new look and feel, as well as some targeted content and navigation enhancements to improve the user experience.
We know that these changes will affect the work you do to maintain the site. We're committed to keeping you updated and providing resources to make the transition as seamless as possible. Please visit this page at any time for the latest updates.
- The content management sytem powering our website is an older version which is being retired. We need to migrate the site to a newer version of the Drupal system
- While we're making this back-end change, we're taking the opportunity to make some research-driven improvements to the user experience
- New look and feel: fonts, colors, visual style of elements across the site
- Streamlined menus and navigation
- Smarter search tools: on-site search box, program finder, faculty search, news articles
- Strategic content enhancements focused on the academic degree programs and landing pages
What's not changing
- Using Drupal as our content management system
- Ability to build pages, add rich content and make updates as needed
- Workflow and moderation process for publishing edits
- Most of the site's content—pages will be migrated directly into the new system
- The refreshed site will launch in mid-August 2023.
- Migration is already underway behind the scenes. Page content will go through two phases:
- Content slowdown. Behind the scenes, migration of existing pages began May 1. You'll still have full editing access for several more weeks, but this would be a good time to begin pausing any non-essential changes. For updates that aren't time-sensitive, you may find it beneficial to wait and see your content in place on the new website, then regroup to decide what updates or additions you'd like to make.
- Content freeze. There will be a brief period when web pages cannot be built or edited while migration is finalized. This freeze period is now scheduled for July 20 – August 14. We understand this is an inconvenience, and we appreciate your patience.
* Exceptions will be made to allow changes required for legal or regulatory compliance: more details coming soon.
April 6 editor briefing
- Presentation recording
- Presentation slides
- Note: The designs you see in this presentation are still evolving and do not reflect the final appearance or content of any specific page; they are sample pages to allow you to experience the work in progress.
Please email any questions about the project to the RUSH U website editor, Kate Allgeier. Your question will be answered to the best of our knowledge as the project evolves, and added to the FAQ below.
Design & style
RUSH adopted the use of the all-caps style in late 2022, with the transition still ongoing. According to RUSH Marketing Communications:
RUSH is one organization with one mission: to improve the health of the individuals and diverse communities we serve through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, research and community partnerships.
Rush University System for Health is moving more fully to a master brand strategy and primary use of the word RUSH. One word, all-caps – across each of the primary parts of our organization such as RUSH University Medical Center and RUSH University, as well as our important clinical centers, such as RUSH BMO Institute for Health Equity.
More fully adopting the use of RUSH as our primary name across our organization will strengthen our brand and preference in the market. The RUSH brand has an estimated value of $430 million.
On the RUSH University website, you'll see that we've already started introducing this style, and will continue to work on updating it for consistency across all pages.
You can learn more about the use of the all-caps RUSH brand, and how to incorporate it in your own communications, here:
Working with the new site
The basic steps for creating a page will not change. You'll still select the style of page you want to build, add your content, assign a menu link so that it's placed in the correct location, and send it through a moderation workflow for publication.
We're simplifying the process with fewer out-of-the-box page styles. Currently, options include Universal Page, Academics Page, Landing Page, Full Width Page, etc. and your choice of page style dictates which templates you can add, whether your page displays sidebar menus, and more. After the refresh, there will be fewer page styles to choose from, and more flexibility to include the right components on any page.
We're still configuring the back end of the site, so details aren't yet certain.
You will still need to upload files to the website in order to link them from your pages. However, we hope to simplify this process to require less searching through folder systems to save a file, and then again to place it on your page.
Note: This question refers specifically to publishing the News Article content type (example). Very few of our website editors create this content type. This information does not apply to the website pages that you work with regularly.
The basic steps for publishing an article will not change. Articles will still be built and published in the rush.edu content hub, where a data feed will import them to create a corresponding article on the rush.rush.edu site.
There have been technical challenges with the import process, requiring manual workarounds. We currently have development work in progress with our tech support firm to repair and resolve these issues.
Update 4.20.23 — The fix of the import process is complete and articles are feeding to rushu.rush.edu as expected. Please reach out to Kate Allgeier if you experience any additional difficulty.
Process & timeline
The research for this project has included:
- User surveys
- In-depth user interviews and moderated user testing. In these sessions, individual users discuss how they use websites to research and choose a degree program or residency/fellowship. They're also given tasks to accomplish on the RUSH University site, while we observe the steps they take and ask about their thought process
- Unmoderated usability testing. Similar to moderated testing, but participants work independently to complete tasks and then report on their experience
- 20+ RUSH U stakeholder intake sessions and surveys
- Analytics review
After the site launches, we'll conduct additional user testing and analyze site metrics to assess the effectiveness of the changes—part of our commitment to continuous improvement.
The refreshed site will launch in mid-August 2023. The lead-up will consist of two phases:
- Content slowdown: Effective May 2, migration of pages is already underway behind the scenes. You'll still have full editing access for several more weeks, but this would be a good time to begin pausing any non-essential changes. For updates that aren't time-sensitive, you may find it beneficial to wait and see your content in place on the new website, then regroup to decide what updates or additions you'd like to make.
- Content freeze: There will be a brief period when web pages cannot be built or edited while migration is finalized. This freeze period is now scheduled for July 20 – August 14. We understand this is an inconvenience, and we appreciate your patience.
- Exceptions: An exception process will be established to allow any changes required for legal or regulatory compliance. Process details coming soon!
The website administrator will continue to provide user support.
After your pages are migrated to the new site, you'll be able to manage their content just as you do now. If you need help making adjustments, you're encouraged to reach out to the website admin (currently Kate Allgeier) for support. They can help you take advantage of the new design components and features available, and help you troubleshoot any technical challenges you face.