We’ve been knocking a few holes in the drywall around here. You probably noticed.
Generally speaking, when an organization upgrades its website, they focus on just one element of the process:
- Refresh the design for a new look, feel and functionality
- Address strategic changes, like what they’re trying to accomplish with the website or how information is structured and organized
- Revise content to better address their audience needs or reflect new messaging
- Implement new processes that clarify roles and workflows throughout the organization
Here at Hope, we’re doing all of the above. Yes, it’s taken some time — a lot of time — but we’re doing more than picking out paint samples and changing out the drapes.
We’re changing the way Hope College communicates online.
Learn more about where we started, where we’ve been and where we’re going in “A Website Retrospective.”
Hope.edu Website Development Timeline:
- Spring 2013: Chose new college-wide enterprise level content management system (CMS), OmniUpdate.
- September 2013: Selected new website design partner, Mighty.
- October 2013: Conducted web design focus groups & open forums, including more than 150 faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, & friends.
- November 2013: Developed 15 “user personas & scenarios” to help us make informed decisions about who our users/visitors are and how we can best serve them. (Held a Meet the Persona’s Open House event to introduce these to campus).
- December 2013: Created a site map to understand how the new site’s content will be structured. (Gathered feedback on this from a series of focus groups including faculty and deans’ council).
- December 2013: Worked on style tiles to determine which overall design direction we want to head in. (Shared concepts with a faculty/staff/student focus group to get feedback on design direction).
- January 2014: Put together page strategy documents to identify strategic foundation and content recommendations for key areas.
- February 2014: Completed wireframes (or blueprints) to clarify what needs to be on the various page types/templates. (Presented these for review/feedback from Web Advisory Group).
- February 2014: Assembled a newly formed “Web Advisory Group” to provide feedback to the Web Team on various stages of the project (made up of faculty/staff/students).
- March 2014: Developed design concepts and extensions, where we finalized designs for various page types/templates.
- May 2014: Began focus on web governance, especially in identifying/supporting our content editors (people/roles/responsibilities, processes, documentation, training/support).
- June 2014: Front-end development and testing of the designs.
- August 2014: Began implementing the new design templates into the new CMS, OU Campus.
- November 2014: Realigned internal staffing to strategically support our responsibilities and needs of campus.
- January 2015: Brought two new positions, Digital Strategist and Web Content Manager on board.
- February 2015: Offered “Your Next Steps for the New Website” sessions for web content editors to help departments begin working on developing content for their sites. Provided a Web Content Checklist.
- March 2015: Offered “Writing for the Web” training sessions for campus which covered content strategy, best practices, brand/voice/tone, and style and grammar. Taught by our new Web Content Manager, Josh Bishop.
- April 2015: Began collecting “bio” information to create faculty/staff profiles.
- Summer 2015: Began building out top tier or “phase one” pages/sections. Including sections such as the homepage, news, events, directory, admissions, research, arts, campus life, about, visit, give, alumni, parents, the academics homepage, and a new catalog.
- August 10, 2015: Launched “phase one”.
- September 2015: Began offering monthly OU Campus (CMS) training for the campus community.
- October 2015: Published Hope College Web Style Guide.
- Fall 2015 to present: With the launch of “phase one,” we’re now working with departments/offices on developing sitemaps, content, and pages. This is an ongoing process of working on and launching department sites on a rolling basis throughout the 15-16 academic year and beyond.
Please reach out to Web Communications at any time with questions or comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.