Making the Move to a User-Driven Web Experience

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We walk through the steps that AUS took in changing the public vision of the AUS online experience.

We discuss the shift in content creation and publication that led us to move from a 6yr old web design and even older methodology to a seamless community oriented and interactive website to be released in the near future. The change both impacts and is impacted by the technology and the message our website represents that even we didn\'t realize at the outset of our initiative 4 years ago - but are slowly realizing through its evolution from in-house stop-gaps to commercial solutions like Jadu.

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  • If you use Dreamweaver…you know what I mean. Before 2008, we did everything through the IT Department’s Web Developers modifying HTML/PHP in a home-grown CMSIf you want to have a constantly informative website, you need to have a mechanism that even the laziest IT Director would be willing to use…
  • No significant facelift since implementationText-heavy
  • Years of data that had not been pruned
  • Making the Move to a User-Driven Web Experience

    1. 1. Making The Move to aUser-Driven Web Experience<br />Ashi Sheth<br />Director of Information Technology<br />Farouk Achoui<br />Web Coordinator, Media Department<br />
    2. 2. History<br />Founded in 1997 by HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi<br />Over 5,000 undergraduate students<br />Admitted 900 students in AY 2010-11<br />1,400+ applicants each year<br />General program accredited by the Middle States Association in the United States<br />
    3. 3. The Many Lives of www.aus.edu<br />December 2000<br />June 2003<br />
    4. 4. September 2004<br />
    5. 5. Challenge: Complex updating process<br />
    6. 6. Challenge: Looks like a ten year old design<br />
    7. 7. Challenge: Both too much info…and not enough<br />
    8. 8. Challenge: Content Organization<br />Public and “Private” content on the same site…<br />
    9. 9. Branding<br />
    10. 10. Branding<br />Need for a unified Look & Feel for the AUS presence on various platforms (Print, Web, Digital Signage, etc)<br />Landor provided AUS with a Web Template, and Online Style Guide.<br />AUS worked with JADU to implement the new design and build in the functionalities, on the JADU CMS.<br />IT systems templates, example (Banner and Black Board) will be updated to resemble the new Look & Feel<br />Implement the new Look & Feel on the new media platforms for example (Digital Signage and Mobile)<br />
    11. 11. Language<br />Part of the Look & Feel initiative, the language used in our printed and digital publications, needed to have a unified marketing tune.<br />To rewrite the content of the new AUS website, we decided to use our Writer and Copy Editor:<br />Even though this is a time and labor intensive project.<br />Outsourcing it to a creative agency will not help because<br />Our staff know and understand our content and tune best.<br />Our staff know who to content for missing information.<br />Part time helpers will be hired to cover for the day to day work.<br />
    12. 12. Images<br />Part of the Look & Feel initiative, their was a recommendation to use concept images and staged photography:<br />Efforts were made to educate the decision makers on the concept imagery.<br />We worked with Landor to identify the icons and what the represent.<br />Outsourced the icon shoots to a photo studio.<br />
    13. 13. Content Structure<br />Currently content is structured based on the AUS Organizational Structure:<br />Example: Residential Halls<br />Easy to manage<br />The website becomes content heavy <br />Hard to access information<br />New website content is structured based on interest to the whole wide web:<br />Easy to access content<br />The website is light<br />Hard to manage <br />Complex interlinking <br />Departments or divisions feel left out<br />
    14. 14. Work Flow<br />Currently using Adobe Contribute:<br />Once a page is edited it gets sent for a review<br />Content Author choose which person to send the draft too<br />Mostly Drafts are sent to Web Contributor who either Publish or<br />Forwards it to the Editor to review when done<br />Goes back to the Web Contributor for Publishing<br />Content Author<br />Publish<br />Web Master<br />Editor<br />
    15. 15. Work Flow<br />Jadu Work Flow<br />Streamlined and Straight forward<br />Built on the system, easy to modify<br />Add extra levels to the process if needed<br />Web Master<br />Publish<br />Web Editor<br />Content Author<br />
    16. 16. Widgets + Supplements + Modules<br />Widgets<br />Small components that display/pull information from various parts of the system (for example News Widget)<br />Supplements<br />Positioned content components that can be updated in one location and reused in multiple pages (for example Profiles)<br />Modules<br />Out of the box ready to use modules, for example (Marketing and Galaxies, Multimedia Manager)<br />
    17. 17.
    18. 18. Final Thoughts<br />Selecting the CMS is the easy part…<br />Re-thinking the strategy of a website…that’s the hard part.<br />
    19. 19. Questions?<br />Contact info:<br />Mr. Ashi Sheth – ASheth@aus.edu<br />Mr. Farouk Achoui – FAchoui@aus.edu<br />

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