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Web Design Project Approach


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There are many approaches to overhauling a website's design and CMS. This project for the Association of College and University Housing Officers - International is an approach that will help leapfrog the association to the forefront of web design and best practices.

Project led by Shaun Holloway and James Baumann.

Published in: Technology
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Web Design Project Approach

  1. 1. Association of Collegeand University HousingOfficers - International PROJECT CRUCIBLE Web and CMS Transformation Whatever is put into a crucible comes out transformed. A crucible is a container that can withstand very high temperatures and is used for metal, glass, and pigment production. Crucibles can be made from any material that withstands temperatures high enough to melt or otherwise alter its contents.Project Crucible
  2. 2. Project Overview • Purpose – Aged design and back-end support environment currently hold back potential of leveraging online capabilities – Transform user experience, content management, and availability of channel integrationProject Crucible
  3. 3. Project Overview • Strategic Fit – Web must attract, retain, and serve current and future members, donors, and sponsors – Aid in being the indispensable authority on college and university housing – Complement specific strategies and goals of different departments and communication needsProject Crucible
  4. 4. Goals and Impact • Advance brand and available marketing channels • Improve user experience and accessibility • Enable flexibility in website management • Increase revenue opportunities • Amplify the voice of ACUHO-I membersProject Crucible
  5. 5. Success Metrics • Increased utilization of web presence – Engagement metrics – Program and course registrations – Revenue streams • Enhanced reputation amongst benchmarks • Increased visibility and visitor participation – Search engine results – Analytic stats… visitation, time, etc.Project Crucible
  6. 6. Current Situation • Analytic and System Data (2011) – ~264,000 visitors – 2,405 average visitors per day 200,000 180,000 160,000 140,000 • Phone Logs 120,000 100,000 PageViews Reveal Need for: 80,000 60,000 Visitors – Clearer content 40,000 20,000 – Self-service 0Project Crucible
  7. 7. Benchmarking • Mix of sister associations and sites utilizing modern design and usability principles • NASPA • U. of Washington • APPA Alumni Association • NACUFS • Specialized Library • Ronald McDonald Association House Charities • • • • • • nasa.govProject Crucible
  8. 8. Benchmarking • Key findings – Use of modular design in content elements – Use of photography and key messaging – Action-oriented language with sales twist – Information is organized and hierarchalProject Crucible
  9. 9. Parallel Track Development • Web Strategy Interface Usability Model Navigation Sitemap Audience Design Content • Design, System, a Attract Resource Retain nd Social tracks System Social working at the Integration Serve Engage New media Server architecture Visibility same time Sales Database design Connection Admin tools Orientation Application Inform Advertising Orientation ChannelProject Crucible
  10. 10. Approach • Phase One – Focus on development of global elements, styles, templates, and tools – Establish a “launchable state” for the framework – Each area will launch but may not get an overhaul • Phase Two – Continue completion of evaluations for each sub-site; similar process done at the site levelProject Crucible
  11. 11. Project TimelineProject Crucible
  12. 12. Concept Designs • 3-step process to work to present concept • Hired professional designer to work with us • Analogy… this is an architectural rendering. – Design will change slightly during constructionProject Crucible
  13. 13. Enhanced visual appeal and modernization Use of strong photography Clear division of screen real estate Breadth of offerings and promotionsProject Crucible
  14. 14. Masthead visible on all web pages Primary navigation segments traffic Secondary navigation Utility navigation Breadcrumb navigationProject Crucible
  15. 15. Display of mega dropdown navigation Additional visual screen real estate New navigation depth to improve usability from anywhere Faster drill down of key messagesProject Crucible
  16. 16. Modular approach to content display Dynamic content and feed capable ADA compliant User familiarity Standardized footer visible on every page SEO and SEM friendlyProject Crucible
  17. 17. Level 1 Landing Page Consistent layout Use of photos for impact and key messaging Begin left navigation Showing and telling ACUHO-I’s story with a sales focus “Intra-site” advertising, promote own offeringsProject Crucible
  18. 18. Level 2+ Web Page Consistent layout Sub-site display with various display tools Flexible for content and applications in the main content column Right column area for content… text, photos, videos, links, etc.Project Crucible
  19. 19. Smart Phone Size Version Responsive design moves online presence to be accessible on many devices This is NOT an app. It is the browser view. View the “desktop version” link displayedProject Crucible
  20. 20. Smart Phone Size Version Example of content display on brand Modular approach allows content to flex No content duplication, maximum availability Stable environment, update fromProject Crucible anywhere
  21. 21. Email Newsletter Design Concept An example of what an email template may look like. Series of email templates with varying wireframe styles will be developed. Continues web look and feel Delineates area for own offerings promotionProject Crucible
  22. 22. Next Steps • Upcoming Milestones by January 2013 – Design approval – Sitemap approval – CMS decision • Other Project Touch-points – AMS project… portal design, email templates, etc. – Mobile app project… design, content feeds, etc. – Foundation for future projectsProject Crucible