Flexible Web Branding, the Case Against Single Web Templates - CASEV 2010

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Look at the use of single templates on higher education websites. Implementing an institution-wide template sounds like a good idea at first but how does it perform in the real world? Get insights into the pros and cons of implementing a single template across all institution websites. We will explore what works and what doesn't, from both the management and end-user prospective. Discover techniques to embrace the uniqueness of each area of your institution and how to engage your visitors along the way.

http://nickdenardis.com/

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Flexible Web Branding, the Case Against Single Web Templates - CASEV 2010

  1. 1. Follow  the  2010  CASE  V  Conference  on  Twitter #CASEVFlexible  Web  Branding,  the  Case  Against  Single  Web  Templates Communications  and  Web    Track  sponsored  by    Alumni  Magnet
  2. 2. Nick DeNardis @nickdenardis Associate Director of Web Communications Wayne State University http://wayne.edu/ Host of EDU Checkup http://educheckup.com/ Writer for .eduGuru http://doteduguru.com/CASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  3. 3. Who are you?CASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  4. 4. Who are you? Directly control your entire institution’s website?CASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  5. 5. Who are you? Directly control your entire institution’s website? Directly control the homepage or a portion of the site?CASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  6. 6. Who are you? Directly control your entire institution’s website? Directly control the homepage or a portion of the site? Are a one person shop?CASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  7. 7. Who are you? Directly control your entire institution’s website? Directly control the homepage or a portion of the site? Are a one person shop? Have one central CMS?CASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  8. 8. Who are you? Directly control your entire institution’s website? Directly control the homepage or a portion of the site? Are a one person shop? Have one central CMS? Are you currently going through a redesign?CASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  9. 9. Who are you? Directly control your entire institution’s website? Directly control the homepage or a portion of the site? Are a one person shop? Have one central CMS? Are you currently going through a redesign? Have an in house Web team?CASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  10. 10. The golden rule of the web Treat users as you would want to be treatedCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  11. 11. Higher Education: The Toughest Gig in All the Web - Mark Greenfield 3pm today in the Ballroom IICASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  12. 12. Benchmarking http://edustyle.netCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
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  14. 14. Goal: Make it noteworthy But what makes a noteworthy site?CASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  15. 15. Noteworthy in the past year Boston University x 7 Saxion Universities of Applied Sciences Wentworth Institute of Technology Dickinson College Wofford College University of Puget Sound Connecticut State University System Freed-Hardeman University Century College Southwest Minnesota State Mills College University University of Missouri NC State University Cornell University x 2 The University of Alabama Kent State University Grand Valley State University Cornell UniversityCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  16. 16. Examining the noteworthy sites from the past year Mainly redesign An opportunity to implement a new direction Small iterations don’t make the list What is the shelf life of a redesigned site?CASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  17. 17. Three examplesCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  18. 18. WoffordCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
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  25. 25. University of Nebraska–LincolnCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
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  34. 34. Boston UniversityCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
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  44. 44. What did we just learn?CASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  45. 45. What did we just learn? Single web templates are not a silver bulletCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  46. 46. What did we just learn? Single web templates are not a silver bullet Old sites need to be redesignedCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  47. 47. What did we just learn? Single web templates are not a silver bullet Old sites need to be redesigned Competition between complete or no controlCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  48. 48. What did we just learn? Single web templates are not a silver bullet Old sites need to be redesigned Competition between complete or no control To think like a user you have to be a userCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  49. 49. A happy medium :-) Flexible branding from the start Good communication Proper training Reward the rule followers Pick your battles Sometimes you just have to let goCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  50. 50. Tiered branding Tier 1 Admissions Financial Aid, Housing, Advising Tier 2 Current Student Services Offices & Departments Tier 3 Staff & Administration Sites Centers & InstitutesCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
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  57. 57. Departmental interviewCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  58. 58. Departmental interview Have the dean/department head/director thereCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  59. 59. Departmental interview Have the dean/department head/director there Meet with the advisors, admissions & other staffCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  60. 60. Departmental interview Have the dean/department head/director there Meet with the advisors, admissions & other staff Get a list of differentiatorsCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  61. 61. Departmental interview Have the dean/department head/director there Meet with the advisors, admissions & other staff Get a list of differentiators You will find more commonality than differencesCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  62. 62. Departmental interview Have the dean/department head/director there Meet with the advisors, admissions & other staff Get a list of differentiators You will find more commonality than differences Make sure it is all about the end userCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  63. 63. Departmental interview Have the dean/department head/director there Meet with the advisors, admissions & other staff Get a list of differentiators You will find more commonality than differences Make sure it is all about the end user Solve problems, setup goalsCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  64. 64. Get the designers involved Involve them early Make sure they are aware of the requirements Don’t re-invent the wheel Keep to constructsCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  65. 65. Average highered website Header News & announcements Navigation Promotion area Main branding area Contact information Search box Footer 1-2 Sentence “why we exist” Upcoming eventsCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  66. 66. Common unique items Student/faculty/alumni profiles Image gallery Video gallery In the news Sign up for updates formCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  67. 67. Totally unique elements Night sky calendar Picture of the week Top 10 pages visited pages System availabilityCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  68. 68. WireframesCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
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  73. 73. Grid based http://960.gs/CASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
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  77. 77. Example Wayne State University - Library ScienceCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
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  84. 84. Example University of Maryland - NursingCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
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  91. 91. “No no’s” Letter from the dean/director “Quicklinks” Non-standard colors Unapproved wordmarks Departmental “logos” Creating a “destination” site just becauseCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  92. 92. Making exceptions Pick your battles What are valid reasons for making exceptions? “Our students are different” Document reasoning Try not to do it on your homepage Flash, moving elements, different colors, fontsCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  93. 93. Summary Treat users as you would want to be treated Every department cannot fit into the same box Create constructs everyone can use Have fun while still being professional It’s just the webCASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  94. 94. Questions?CASE V 2010 @nickdenardis
  95. 95. Thank You! http://casefive.org/conference/presentations/CASE V 2010 @nickdenardis

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