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Cal Alumni Network


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How to build an alumni network with a small team, clear strategy, and lots of chutzpah

Presentation by Joel Fuller, Jason Stroyer, Christina Sponselli, CASE conference, San Francisco, March 2, 2013

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Cal Alumni Network

  1. 1. Building an Alumni Network with a small team, a clear strategy, and lots of chutzpah Berkeley UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA JOEL FULLER, JASON STROYER, CHRISTINA SPONSELLI MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS 1-Title of presentation-Introduction of speakers-Acknowledge other members of the team, Matt, Rob, Virginia, David. Customer service team at the Cal Alumni Association
  2. 2. What we’ll discuss Business Strategy Integration Strategy Building Strategy 2-Describe @cal project-Outline of presentation is in three sections-Questions after each section
  3. 3. Business Strategy 3
  4. 4. Business Strategy 4Launch in August, still soft launch, mailing out postcards next mnth
  5. 5. Business Strategy 77% of alums who have visited the site have updated their data 5Its about the data
  6. 6. Business Strategy 6
  7. 7. Business Strategy 7
  8. 8. Business Strategy 81. Exercise to identify actual relationship and ideal experience2. Map service used by an alum during life cycle
  9. 9. Business Strategy Core competencies Email forwarding Alumni directory Networking opportunities 9
  10. 10. Business Strategy Build in-house? Team with skills Need for a nimble platform Bad experiences with vendors Greater control over environment 10Also include mobilization
  11. 11. Business Strategy But there are complexities... Logins Alum’s data Domain names Alums’ expectations 11Describe pointsReference single sign-on, which Jason will describe later
  12. 12. Business Strategy Exit Strategy Assess functionality Determine technical requirements Alumni directory Review contract 12- Didnʼt bring all functionality over because wasnʼt being used by alums. But saw opportunity to create public profiles, will speak more about it next slide.- Tech reqs: Did not change the user experience, but we upgraded servers to LAMP stacks. Cost was low for us, but we couldnt offer the bandwidth of this new site without new virtualservers.- Review terms of contract, including when notice must be given, process for destroying data, and requesting data be pulled for new site.-look for opportunities!!
  13. 13. Business Strategy 13
  14. 14. Business Strategy 14Creating @cal public profile. About 40% of people who have logged into the network since August have created a public profile.1. Help people find our alums and their social media profile2. Offer a university-related URL for the page3.Allow alums to customer their URL & page4. Make it searchable by commercial search engines
  15. 15. Business Strategy 15This alum is a 1979 grad1. May choose from images we provide2. Allow people to contact page owner anonymously3. Alums may update information in real-time
  16. 16. Business Strategy 16
  17. 17. Business Strategy Questions 17
  18. 18. Integration Strategy 18
  19. 19. Integration Strategy Single sign-on 19CS: Before making the move off our vendor, we were fortunate enough to have taken control of system of logging into our alumni network. Jason Stroyer, the projectʼsprogrammer, will talk more about single sign on and how we worked with other campus groups.JS: Here you can see the login screen (left) and the same screen with the Help section opened up.
  20. 20. Integration Strategy The passphrase reminder is the seventh most visited page on the site The login name reminder is number nine 20JS: Talk about the reminders.Why were they necessary?How do they work?
  21. 21. Integration Strategy Migration of Users to Single Sign-On email with token no no 5. friendly 4. CalNet login name yes yes successful yes drupal site Instructional with text about customization no process no start point for no users not 1. coming Confirm Your Secret through an Identity question continued to email process screen 6 starts customer service area verified no 1. Confirm Your Identity yes no start point for users 2. authenticated Change Your by customer Passphrase service 6. form data Customer 1. Confirm emailed to service will Your Identity customer contact you continued to service within two next page business days. Documents/@cal/flows/emails_080124 Page 1 of 2 Notes Revised Jan. 24 1. Shaded box indicates CalNet screen with very little C. Sponselli customization. change password screen customer service area change successful no password yes no 3. Update to a personalized CalNet ID 6. form data Customer change emailed to service will password customer contact you service within two business days. 5. 5. update to CalNet login CalNet login friendly yes successful no with with customization customization no yes no drupal site form data 6. Secret emailed to Customer service Documents/@cal/flows/emails_080124 question customer will contact you Page 2 of 2 process service within two Revised Jan. 24 starts business days. C. Sponselli 21JS: Donʼt know if you want to use this. We can easily delete before presentation.
  22. 22. Integration Strategy Email with CAS CAS login authentication info Notes: 1. Details on CAS authentication available Data synchronization on Authentication with CAS 2. ----- represents data synch 3. ___ represents end user experience Documents/@cal/flows/big_pic_architecture_nuser Disclaimer: 8 October 2007 1. Flow doesnt include LDAP process C. Sponselli Community Architecture, New Users Via Customer Service Creation of Customer Email or phone new CADS Service looks call to end user record based CADS up info on giving CAS on end user login info CADS request Convio PCI Affinity Circles/Haas Post-login for Convio PCI Affinity all units Circles End user authenticates on CAS 22JS: Here is an example of our data synchronization before we built the network in-house. The architecture has changed, but this gives you a sense of the complexity ofworking with data.- Didnʼt want this to lose this data to commercial social media sites and updates stream, too.- Data updates are being made in @cal by users, and cant be overwritten by alumni database updates. Alums are records of source. We dont want to overwrite.- Build admin tools to update site for end users.- When build new site, created tools to compensate for pain points experience working with vendors. We made it more transparent. Information we werent getting about errors, emails aretriggered and we can respond to them. We built into place admin tools.- Taking on data synchronization formatting. Matching the vendor format to streamline import process. Alumni information management staff didnt need to make modifications to theirexisting work. We looked to vendor documents and replicated it so they wouldnt need to change the nightly processes.- We are synchronizing because their additional fields that the alumni databased doesnt
  23. 23. Integration Strategy Email forwarding 23One of our core competencies is email forwarding.- Explain what email forwarding is. Allow current students to convert their student email address, and for alums they can select Discuss how email addresses are displayed and give examples of affinity based assignments, schools/colleges/alumni association- One of the top reasons people join @cal.- For some alums, only register to get this service
  24. 24. Integration Strategy Questions 24
  25. 25. Building Strategy 25
  26. 26. Building Strategy Working in HTML Form followed function • Initial functionality implemented without design. • Wireframes introduced to add structure for improving UX and testing feedback early in the process. Functional wireframes 26Working through the wireframe into design.Working in HTML allowed us to get UI testing early on and were able prove the concept sooner in the process.Style was intentionally left out initially. We were able to determine how close we were to our core concepts without the worry of style.This also allowed us to be more agile in development of functionality early on as we had working prototypes to gain feedback.
  27. 27. Building StrategyWorking in HTMLForm followed function • Determined mobile approach mid-way through. • Once functionality was refined, design and styling furthered UI improvements. • We continue to iterate and improve the UI and UX. 27
  28. 28. Building Strategy User Testing Leveraging on-campus resources and partnerships • “Break our code” night. Never underestimate pizza! 28Christina to discuss user testing and break our codenight
  29. 29. Building StrategyMobile development 29
  30. 30. Building StrategyMobile developmentOverview • What is Responsive Web Design? • Why did we choose responsive? The @cal mobile approach. Benefits and drawbacks of responsive design. • Mobile first and deciding selective features. 30
  31. 31. Building StrategyWhat is responsive design?Developing a website that “responds” to devicesbased on specific screen sizes (break points). most important development question is: • What are your users mobile priorities? 31
  32. 32. Building StrategyWhat is responsive design?Developing a website that “responds” to devicesbased on specific screen sizes (break points). Demonstrate @cal RWD Oski Profile Oski Search most important development question is:• What are your users mobile priorities? 32
  33. 33. Building Strategy Why did we choose responsive?The @cal approach • Restricting break points to mobile and desktop. Skipped initiallyMobile Tablet Desktop 33
  34. 34. Building Strategy Why did we choose responsive? The @cal approach • Below the mobile break point uses fluid layout, accommodating many devices, casting a “wide net.” Mobile Tablet 34Limiting to the technique of having a fluid design below the breakpoint.Easing the development workload by casting a wide net when possible.
  35. 35. Building StrategyWhy did we choose responsive?The @cal approach • Below the mobile break point uses fluid layout, accommodating many devices, casting a “wide net.” 35
  36. 36. Building StrategyWhy did we choose responsive?We looked at other mobile options • Separate mobile site using a mobile framework, or specialized “site” optimized for mobile. • Separate mobile sites can be good for specialized content which does not translate well to RWD, such as a web application. 36
  37. 37. Building Strategy Why did we choose responsive? Benefits • One is more than two. Maintaining one codebase. Avoid coding, styling and maintaining two separate websites. • Can be a much faster development time/testing cycle. • Further CSS development from front-end developer. • No need for additional backend programming or new codebase. • Track analytics on one domain. Users interact with one website on various devices. 37In this case, one truly is more thantwo.
  38. 38. Building StrategyWhy did we choose responsive?What are “best-use” RWD scenarios? • Project with limited developer resources or budget for mobilizing. • Site that does not have too many image elements (content images) or photo galleries. • Site that is not overly complex in CSS/design. • Site that can naturally "reflow" fairly well using CSS floating techniques as opposed to positioning techniques. 38
  39. 39. Building Strategy Why did we choose responsive? What are “challenging” RWD scenarios? • Adapting an existing site that uses a content managing system such as WordPress or Drupal with legacy content. Themes are available for both CMS’. • A site with highly complex detailed content such as a news portal, albeit this is possible with the right developer experience and markup planning. • A site with many image elements or large images such as photo galleries, etc. 39unless you have thorough templateexperience.
  40. 40. Building Strategy Mobile First and selected features A mobile first approach • Plan for feature set you want to provide for mobile users first. This will help establish your required priorities and site structure (markup). Features • Decide what you will or can offer users of your site. Do they need that picture gallery? Is the contact information paramount? Look at current site’s metrics to help you determine site use. Maybe they don’t need to upload files or pictures. • What must they be able to do? 40We had to be clear on what can weoffer.
  41. 41. Building StrategyMobile First and selected featuresDesktop switch • Allow mobile users to view desktop version of site. 41
  42. 42. Building Strategy Mobile First and selected features Structuring markup to “flow” naturally 42Think about how you structure your markup ahead of time to plan for re-flow.Here is also where following compliance in markup can help you in the long run.Well formed code avoids problems in the future.
  43. 43. Building StrategyFront-end mobile and browser testing 44
  44. 44. Building Strategy Questions 45
  45. 45. Q&A / Resources Sites: Example RWD sites RWD tool (quick-view tool) JavaScript image library JavaScript image library image handling WordPress RWD theme Drupal RWD theme Books: Ethan Marcotte, Responsive Web Design, Publisher: A Book Apart Luke Wroblewski, Mobile First. Publisher: A Book Apart Progressive Enhancement. Publisher: New Riders 46