ACCESSIBILITYNAVIGATIONInformation must be easily accessible tominimize customer searching time byreducing the number of p...
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Web Design in 1 hour (& 15 minutes) HANDOUT

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"Best of" presentation at the ACUHOI Business Conference by Dr. Ray Gasser, Kathryn Magura, and Amy Jorgensen. This provides a bit more detail from the presentation.

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Web Design in 1 hour (& 15 minutes) HANDOUT

  1. 1. ACCESSIBILITYNAVIGATIONInformation must be easily accessible tominimize customer searching time byreducing the number of pages (clicks) andconsolidating information. This meansthere should be more of a horizontalnavigational structure rather than avertical navigational structure. Clear andsimple navigation is the top priority;important information like locations,contact information and booking methodsare readily available to reduce prospectivecustomer frustrations.Current and urgent topics may behighlighted as a focus-point on the mainlanding page. These topics are changedbased on the primary audiences that willbe using the website at the time in orderto ensure the message is receivedsuccessfully. Work with your contentexperts to determine the priorities andschedules.USING WEB ANALYTICSSo now that you’ve started the brainstorming process,how can you leverage your navigation to increaseconsumer satisfaction? Web analytics, such as GoogleAnalytics, provide clear feedback from your consumers– and plainly tell you what they think is most important.Plus they can be free!For more info & tips: www.google.com/analyticsSTARTING OR REDESIGNING A NEW WEBSITEStarting a new website can beintimidating. Take a deep breath and startby playing online! Look at your favoritewebsites (housing or not) to look at whatyou like or dislike. Use this research tothen determine the following for your newsite:1. Website purpose2. Customers (users)3. Desired user experience4. Redesign goals5. Overarching Design6. Timeline & Benchmarks7. Responsible Managers (content &management)HTML: HYPERTEXT MARKUP LANGUAGEHTML is a markup language that enables the creating and publishing of webcontent. It is currently the fundamental way to publish content for webbrowsers.CMS: CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMWeb designers developed CMS systems using HTML and Javascript tosimplify updating and managing websites. CMSs include Drupal, ExpressionEngine, Wordpress, and more!@DrRayGasser@Kmagura@AmyLJorgensenCMSVSHTMLPROS• Easy• Quick• Consistent Branding• Add/Delete Pages Easier• Not highly technicalCONS• Difficult to change design• Expensive• Less flexiblePROS• Arguably better coding• More design control• Lower pricingCONS• Technical skills needed• Start everything from scratchCONTENTContent development can be one of the most difficult areasto tackle when redesigning your website. Messaging on thewebsite should be seen as “push marketing” messaging.All websites have full control over the content and there isvery little opportunity for a customer to engage with thisone-way communication. Customers know this andtherefore want to find the information they can seek quicklyand easily.Websites are designed to provide information aboutservices, facilities, culture, and guidance on how to live incampus housing. Always work with the content managersto ensure accuracy and ideas on how the text can besimplified or better organized for the end user. Theinformation in the website news should be succinct,current, and relevant.Website development best practices include beingsuccinct, relevant, accurate, innovative, intentional, anddynamic. One of the most difficult practices is to be“succinct”. All customers expect to find their informationquickly and easily – and this can be difficult if there is alarge amount of text or too much explanation. Try toharness your “Twitter” skills and summarize as much aspossible. Try leveraging your web analytics as well to showwhat the customers want.Websites should be accessible to the broadest audiencepossible. Factors to consider: screen readers for visualimpairments, navigation via keyboard only, dial-up orlow bandwidth connections, browsers that don’t havejavascript or flash enabled, and mobile devices.How to check if your site is accessible:• Turn off images in your browser (make sure image placeholders are turned on)• Turn off support for JavaScript• Tab through the page, navigate without a mouse• Try to change the standard font colors and styles in yourbrowser• Try to increase the font size by using the browser (view> text size > increase)• Turn off support for stylesheets, does your site stillmakes sense?MORE INFO:http://wave.webaim.org/http://web.mit.edu/atic/www/accessibility/guidelines.htmlIn order for our message to be appealing and engaging, the website could includeupdated photographs, videos, location maps, and departmental connection opportunitiesas well as customer reviews. Look at what you already have & get started!

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