WIT Meeting Highlights, May 15, 2012

Another great meeting, thanks everyone! Just wanted to capture some of the important items that came up so we don’t lose sight of them as we move forward with this work:

Special Guest: Stephanie Geyer, Associate VP for Web Strategy Services, Noel-Levitz: it was great to be joined by Stephanie who shared some excellent insight on how to “un-twirl” issues around ongoing governance and ownership of site content responsibilities. She also emphasized the importance of developing a sustainability plan to ensure the long-term health of the website.

Known Issues Resolved: Cristian and Ed have resolved uploading time delays related to the nav structure so that now site edits can be saved in reasonable amounts of time. File naming and replacement issues have been investigated and a process has been identified to reduce confusion, Cristian still looking into folder naming and other “media management” issues.

Standardization versus Customization: discussion of how standards for department sites are set and the balance between template use and customization in each department.


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Style guide

Through some online searching, I came across a writing-for-the-web style guide from the University of Edinburgh. This is a really helpful document that points out what to consider when writing for the web.

UofEdinburgh style guide

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Content Migration – a suggestion

Hello All,

Great to know that everything is working from the tech side of things – this will make it easier to move forward.

These are my thoughts/suggestions about how to go about content migration.

Network sites

I’m reluctant to give people the go-ahead to resume content transfer before we have established and agreed on a basic editorial/content guideline. My reasoning is that I don’t want to approach people with specific standards/expectations after they ‘revamp’ content on their own. I am working on putting short one/two pager together to provide editors.

Main Site

This content migration is a bit trickier because it needs a lot more care. The current content is mumbled-jumbled and isn’t clear, concise or user-friendly. Because it’s the bread and butter of the website, we should take the time to do it right and try to mold it – as much as possible – into the recommended structure provided by Noel-Levitz. So, I think we need to do a couple of things before we give the ‘main site editors’ the green light:

Determine the menu and navigation structure

This – for the most part – has been outlined by Noel-Levitz, but a content audit needs to be completed on the current site to determine how the information fits with the new structure. It’s important to note that for some areas, it may not be a clear-cut transfer from old to new. There are some instances where information needs to be consolidated or separated, so it make sense for the user.

Build the menu/navigation structure and pages for editors

If the menu/navigation structure is built before content migration begins, editors will have a clear picture of how their content is organized. So rather than creating unneeded pages, editors can drop their content into already created pages. If additional pages need to be created, then we can deal with it at that time.

Train and communicate

Before migration begins, we should hold an info session with the ‘main site editors’ and explain how and why the website is organized the way it is, and review the editorial/content guidelines. At this point we can receive feedback from the departments and make changes accordingly.

Let the transfer begin!!!

At this point everyone should be on the same page and content migration for the main page can begin.

Let me know what you think people!! Regardless if we agree on this or not, we should come to some sort of consensus on Tuesday and develop a timeline…

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Site Redevelopment Wisdom from NL

  1. Who is the primary market? Know what they want to do at the site.
  2. Navigation should be user-focused. No jargon. No insider terms.
  3. Design supports navigation first, then brand.
  4. Test everything with audience.
  5. Be conservative with form fields, think through confirmation pages.
  6. Use Google Analytics, set goals, and check them.
  7. Take the time to get content right.
  8. Optimize the site for search engines (SEO!)
  9. Be cagey and conservative about your launch dates.
  10. Don’t skimp on final testing and Q/A.
  11. Celebrate, then begin again.
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Terms of Reference

In addition to the unofficial team motto: “Keeping it real. Making it real” here are the important facts:

Concordia Website Implementation Team: Terms of Reference

Name: Concordia Website Implementation Team

Type: Team formed for the duration of the website implementation approximately from May 2012 until December 2012 at which point the responsibility of ongoing maintenance and support will be delegated to CUCA staff members.

Purpose and Mandate: Develop and implement a plan to migrate from the existing CUCA web presence to a new content management platform. Key dates include early August for initial rebranding activities, start of Fall academic term onward for general site consistency, November Winter registration date, and January for a content migration review.

Membership and Roles:

Ed Boraas, Director of IT Services; Role: content management platform support/implementation, contact with Microtek

Cristian Cordeiro, Web Application Developer; Role: web application integration, bulk content migration

Crystal Eyo, Communications Officer; Role: content migration and development, development of editorial guidelines/standards

Dante Macasaet, IT Instructor; Role: training and support of content managers

Dan Mirau, Library Director; Role: team facilitator, team communications, and point of contact for reporting/questions

Kerri McKinnon, Marketing Director; Role: project manager and liaison with Noel-Levitz consultants

Dana Ouellette, Information Services Librarian; Role: training and support of content managers

Budget: Funds will be requested as needed in keeping with project plan.

Reports: Team facilitator will report on progress to University Academic Council, Faculty Council, IT Strategy Team, Integrated Student Services Team, President’s Advisory Council, and other relevant groups.

Meetings: Weekly through the months of May-August 2012, bi-monthly from September-December 2012.

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