The web team has spent the past 1.5 days at HighEdWeb Michigan 2016, a regional conference that tackles the latest and greatest in higher ed website strategy, management, design, marketing and technology. There’s so much that’s worth sharing (and even more that’s going to help us shape and refine how we work at Hope) but I wanted to pass along one article in particular that provided an interesting perspective on the form and function — the beauty — of websites:
“How to Care for Your Digital Campus” by Brian F. Hawkins
Brian presented at the conference, and I encourage anyone involved or interested in Hope’s website to read it. Here’s a bit to whet your appetite:
Much has been written since then about the importance of maintaining a beautiful campus, and successful institutions continue to make significant investments in campus architecture and green space. As we move to an era in which the campus extends beyond the traditional brick and mortar to the online and digital landscape, however, we must not repeat the mistakes of those 19th-century institutions. Colleges must invest in building digital campuses that are just as inspiring, vibrant, and functional as the stone arches, sculptures, and flowers that adorn our physical campuses.
If I were to plant a tree outside my office, our landscaping department would have fresh sod in its place by tomorrow morning (and my boss would be seriously evaluating my employment status). I cannot plant a tree at will, so why should I be allowed to clutter the digital landscape? It’s time we tend to our digital campus with the same professional care and planning that we devote to our physical campus.
Much of the article reinforces that our new content governance and web team structure is on the right track.