UChicago wins two Webby Awards for homepage website redesign

The University of Chicago has won two prestigious Webby Awards for the best website in the School or University category.

The international award recognizes the mobile-friendly redesign of www.uchicago.edu that the University introduced in September 2012. One of the University’s most powerful communication and reference tools, the site contains improvements to better engage and inform visitors from around the world, conveying the University’s academic values, intellectual community and beautiful campus. The website is the virtual front door to the University, serving current UChicago community members, prospective students and faculty, and a general audience that wishes to learn more about UChicago.

Established in 1996 to recognize excellence on the Internet, the Webbys have been described as "the Internet's highest honor" by the New York Times. UChicago won both the Webby People's Voice Award, which is based on Internet voting by website visitors, and a Webby Award determined by a group of judges that includes web experts and prominent figures in business and entertainment. This year the international competition drew 11,000 entries from all 50 states and more than 60 countries worldwide.

The redesigned site, the first major overhaul since 2008, represented months of work by IT Services, University Communications and other partners around the University. It presents the UChicago community in its vibrancy as an intellectual destination, a place where powerful inquiry flourishes, a partner in innovation and impact, and the source of a distinctive and empowering education.

“Our UChicago website is important to the University as a resource for our community and as a place where people around the world can see the breadth and impact of contributions that our faculty, students, alumni and staff make constantly in the world at large,” said Julie Peterson, the University’s Vice President for Communications. “These awards are a validation of hard work by people across our institution, and a recognition of UChicago’s leadership in online communications.”

“Receiving this honor from some of the world’s leading web experts reaffirms how technology can serve and support the values of our institution,” said Klara Jelinkova, UChicago’s Associate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “I’m very proud of the work by our web developers and designers in IT Services, who executed a complex project in a short amount of time, and produced this beautiful, outstanding website.”

Winners of the Webby Awards are chosen by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. The newest members of the global organization include Tumblr founder David Karp, co-founder of Instagram Kevin Systrom, Huffington Post Media Group President Arianna Huffington, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Internet co-creator Vint Cerf and musician David Bowie.