The School of Medicine has freshened its online look.

While two months ago, visitors to the School’s website would have seen a small, off-center banner at the top of the page, they can now enjoy a new Yale logo atop a more vibrant image, among other changes.

The School of Medicine’s redesigned website, launched Oct. 29, features specialized pop-up pages, integrates Google maps on their directions page and includes more room for content on each page, all aimed to improve the look and usability of its home site and its subparts. The new template includes an updated Yale logo, introduced in 2008, that appears in paper and online publications as part of a University-wide branding initiative.

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All medical department websites have been updated except for three, which will incorporate the new design by early 2011, director of Yale School of Medicine Web Planning Lena Parker said.

Justin Fansler, associate director of web planning, said the School began designing the new template in summer 2009 as the University finalized the Yale branding initiative. The web planning office aimed to create a more modern, “webby” site that provides extra room for content and a broader spectrum of layout options, which the office worked with web programmers and graphic designers to achieve, Parker said.

The medical school also wanted to remain ahead of the technological curve, she added.

“The primary goal of YSM’s Office of Web Planning has always been to realize the Dean’s vision for a ‘world-class web presence,’” Parker said. “The driving goal behind this project was to keep the Yale School of Medicine at the forefront of web design and functionality.”

Parker said the previous website design was sometimes restrictive and “overbearing.” By contrast, the new template provides users with more content to enjoy in a single page. Additionally, the designers widened the page display to fit more video and text onto the screen and better suit users with wide monitors.

Other vital changes include expanded faculty profiles, integrated Google search results and the ability to view larger versions of images, Fansler said. Individual School of Medicine website publishers also benefit from the new design because of its increased publishing speed and varied layout options, Parker said.

“Having more layouts allows our clients to have a better chance at having an individual look, even though they are all using the same global template,” she said.

Medical school Cell Biology Coordinator Leslie Gourlay — who uses the updated Cell Biology website as a publisher — said she agrees the new design is an improvement. She added that the improvements successfully enhance viewers’ ability to use the site.

There are 280 School of Medicine web sites published in the new template, including 25 of the 28 medical school departments.