After years of delegating content to campus departments, an IA overhaul caused the Marketing and Communications department at Xavier University to rethink who maintains the content for key sites. The end result meant taking back control of many websites that for years had been maintained by academic departments and support offices. After a brief review of the overall project we will look at the sites we decided were too important to delegate, how we brought them back in, and the obstacles we have faced.
Students love the look and well manicured grounds. We get a lot of positive feedback when they visit.
A lot of it is thanks to this guy - Walt Bonvell.
Enter, the website. Many people’s first impression of Xavier. This is what the homepage looked like until Spring 2015, even worse before.
This is not Xavier
This is Xavier.
The current redesign began in 2013. One of our main goals in the redesign was to give people the same emotional connection as when they visited campus.
This is not it.
neither is this.
This is a start. In October 2013 we started a redesign project
So is this!
Check out this department page. Remember the old one?
It looked like this.
Another department page. - 120 programs in all
First thing - strategic decision to take the pages out of our CMS. - Allow for flexibility - Control
CMS Editable Dept admins Anyone, really
Not CMS editable Every change has to be run through us. Encourages Collaboration We also have to have a system in place for keeping things up to date - we are responsible Monthly meetings Semi-annual contact Quarterly review of 2nd tier sites
Inexperienced & unknowledgeable editors - not their fault. Lacked consistency with brand & messaging goals Learning. Serving. Achieving. Together. framework - 2016 update
Marketing Partner email to college deans, follow-up to college leadership meetings. University announcements. Emails directly to department heads. We use a Marketing Partner model, and they handled all of the communication.
We also met with folks in all of the admission areas. And the provost individually and presented to the cabinet - everyone at this level was very receptive. No one was surprised, and if they were we could come back and point to all of the ways we communicated.
Define overall goals, items that can be changed, items that are fixed. In line with hard points/soft points of our brand.
Rome can be built in a day, but can it be maintained?
We didn't do everything at once. These offices, and many others, still need an enhanced web presence. In our case, all identified by importance for admission.
We built our own page for this site, and plan on addressing the full site very soon.
Speaking of data, it is good to have a plan. We started with research data and are moving toward our own data as evidence. It took us too long to come up with a plan. It was one of our goals, but what we needed to collect - or how we needed to collect it was not apparent until a year after we were live. Our fault. We had to re-envision how we track our pages - from page model to product model. User polls.
In the end, I want to be like Walt, but for the website.
HighEdWeb 2016 #UAD2: After Years of Delegation, Taking Back Control
After Years of Delegation,
Taking Back Control
It has not all been smooth sailing.
* Some departments weren’t happy
* Different priorities - get everyone on board
* Loss of control
We had to stick to our original goals and the
support we built earlier in the process.
We also delayed compromise until we have