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 College background  Old Web site  Project research  New Web site development  Implementation  Lessons Learned.

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Presentation on theme: " College background  Old Web site  Project research  New Web site development  Implementation  Lessons Learned."— Presentation transcript:

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2  College background  Old Web site  Project research  New Web site development  Implementation  Lessons Learned

3  Largest community college system in Missouri serving an area of about 700 square miles; created by area voters in 1962  Four campuses, three education centers  Transfer, career and developmental programs  Non-credit continuing education courses  Various workforce development initiatives  A “League for Innovation” institution

4  26,000 credit students each semester  40,000 non-credit each year  31,000 workforce development students  130 credit programs  57 workforce development programs  1,800 faculty (420 FT )  3,500 employees

5  Issues and problems with old site  Developing a new brand identity for the institution  “One College”, … but not a well defined identity on the web site

6  Site is difficult to navigate – and to find content – 16,000 pages with no standard navigation  Internal use content mixed in with other content  Pages did not follow best practices for web design  Most pages did not comply with our loosely defined college standards

7  Common to have over 2,000 broken links  Non-compliance with ADA requirements  Out-of-date and conflicting content  No unified appearance – brand identity was fragmented at best to almost non-existent  No workflow, editing or review process

8  Trying to represent the constant of the district-wide college while maintaining the uniqueness of each campus  Taking content from the existing 16,000 pages to distill the items of need to audiences

9  Meetings at each campus to introduce project and seek cooperation and support  2005 – Audience research conducted by contracted firm Current and prospective students – focus groups and online surveys Continuing Education and high school guidance counselors – focus groups Key administrators and faculty influencers – phone interviews Larger sample of faculty and staff – random, online survey

10  Registration  Hub for student news and communications  Access to all programs and classes  Class availability, times/room numbers, changes, grades  Do everything online: Pay for classes Get parking passes Get books “Not have to go to the campus” Ervin Marketing Report, May 2006

11  73% - accurate and timely information  70% - easy registration process  66% - ease of navigation  61% - descriptions of programs  55% - easy payment Ervin Marketing Report, May 2006

12  84.7% - Registration  82.4% - Student Resources  81.8% - Class Schedules  77.9% - Blackboard  60.3% - College Catalog  29.9% - can’t find what they are looking for Ervin Marketing Report, May 2006

13  The existing public website will be replaced in its entirety  The new website will focus on the needs of our external constituents and will incorporate the College’s new marketing, branding and image campaign Provide an informative, effective marketing tool Provide for the needs of current students

14  Align with the college strategic mission  To increase enrollment at the college  Simplify the experience for students  Management, faculty, staff and administrators given the ability to develop and update content to web-site

15  The contents of the new website will be developed by the outside vendor  A second vendor will take responsibility for building the initial Web site  The new web site will utilize the Serena Collage web content management system to simplify the publishing process and enable a workflow driven web authoring environment

16  Rebrand the site to project STLCC as one college  Build a site that allows visitors to select a path based on personal needs  Create a new web content delivery system: Easy to update Reinforces web standards Provides a consistent user experience Flexible to respond to changing needs

17  Use technology that expedites and streamlines the ongoing content management  Continually evaluate the site’s effectiveness by reviewing traffic metrics, click paths, on site searches, and user studies  Create an agile technical environment for future web-based functionalities

18  Huge change in the culture of the way the website was maintained  Shifting responsibility from campus to Community Relations and web coordinators  Web Authoring as a distributed responsibility  Identify person(s) responsible for web authorship

19  Taxonomy - (navigation, structure, organization) Ad Hoc Web Advisory Committee – played a big role Organized by function rather than content  Frequently accessed content on home page Without trying to include everything

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21 ‣Automate consistency and standards through templates and required elements ‣Rich text editing eliminates the need for HTML or web editor experience ‣Manage workflows with the combination of task management and a review/approval system

22 ‣Allow authorized users to easily add or update content “anytime, anywhere” through a browser ‣Roll pages back to a previous version as needed ‣Schedule content replacement or removal

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28  SungardHE Banner (ERP) Self-Service  BlackBoard LMS  Home-grown applications Course Schedule Schedule of Late-Starting Courses Employee Directory Continuing Education Registration Student Application Sexual Harassment, FERPA, and Diversity Tutorials  New system – Windows Live student

29 ‣New website went live March 9, 2008: ‣In order to have a go-live date, a “line” had to be drawn somewhere on what content would be part of the initial deployment We used the Ad Hoc Web Committee to develop basic guidelines for what was to be included for Phase 1 There are some whose content was left out that felt their content was too important to not be included

30  Representing a district-wide college (“One College” brand) while presenting the uniqueness of each campus.  Underestimating timeline for content and technical development  Working with several different vendors  Focus can get sidetracked with input from concerned parties

31  New positions, new employees  Deploying new WCMS in conjunction with new site  Internal audiences – time it takes to communicate – delays caused by summer schedules  Managing expectations of new site – Launched with 1,600 vs. 16,000 pages

32  “Phase 2” almost completed - Corrections and updates - Added over 1250 pages based on feedback and metrics analysis Development of interactive, more dynamic content WCMS contributor training Development of department and “academic discipline” pages

33  Implementation of enrollment management tools CRM Variable web content/print  Continue to add content that was not included in the first two phases that fit the objective of the new site  Revival of the Web Advisory Committee  my.stlcc.edu student portal- SharePoint  Blogs/Social networking  Continued focus on brand management

34  The overall goal of project of creating a user- centric website was achieved  The new website contributed to the goal of increase in enrollment  Phase I rolled out smoothly  National Council for Marketing and Public Relations – Silver Award

35  The use of an outside consultant Provided confirmation and justification for taking on this huge project Justified funding for project Identified the need for dedicated positions  Active involvement of the faculty and staff  Use of outside vendors for web development  Good internal cooperation between technical and content

36  Integration of home grown apps successful  WCMS – edit, review and deploy functions went smoothly  Implementation of AP style  Setting a deadline and trying to stick to it - forced us to make some tough decisions to meet that deadline

37  Outside vendor Web development team needed a lot of effort to get up to speed with our WCMS Vendor used for writing of content never really hit the mark

38  WCMS Issues integrating applications - vendor never got a handle on this User interface – edit function not as “friendly” as desirable – Many support calls from “occasional” user Task management is cumbersome and does not match our business processes Uncertain future of vendor support Required desktop settings not necessarily compatible with campus settings

39  In house team undermanned – made meeting deadlines very challenging  Content needs to be re-written in a more “user friendly” style – easier to read  Better communication/feedback process with faculty and staff during development and subsequently  Faster implementation of additional/missing content Departments & academic disciplines Dynamic content

40  Hard coding of static information – outside vendor not familiar with internal resources for dynamic content  We had more hardware than was necessary – ASP & ASP.NET integration with CMS not realized until after learning more about WCMS capability  Internal technical staff would have benefitted from earlier training  Identifying and training more content contributors earlier

41  The battle of the home page Next to the navigation, this was the biggest focus of discussion Too much ended up being included making the page very busy and, to many, unappealing Many links were represented by both buttons and text links  Some groups failed to take ownership of content  Failed to maintain active Web Advisory Committee

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43  George Sackett Web Content Supervisor  Presentation is available online at:


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