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Website Refresh Project 2013. Why the refresh?  Redefine target audience based on current research  Increase use of social media, video and other resources.

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Presentation on theme: "Website Refresh Project 2013. Why the refresh?  Redefine target audience based on current research  Increase use of social media, video and other resources."— Presentation transcript:

1 Website Refresh Project 2013

2 Why the refresh?  Redefine target audience based on current research  Increase use of social media, video and other resources  Consolidate and streamline similar or related content  Increase usability and enhance navigational elements  Further automate routine content changes  Address community concerns

3 Steps to a successful solution 1.Defining an ideal website 2.Website influence and statistics 3.Design and content weaknesses 4.Refresh tactics 5.Proposed solutions 6.Steps to completion 7.Roadmap

4 Defining an ideal website  User focused, not “us” focused  Meet the needs of target audience as defined by strategic plan  Easy to navigate  Intuitive  Contain well-written content  Provide engaging experience  Action-oriented  Seamlessly branded  Drive qualified traffic  Compliant with accessibility standards

5 Website influence  One in three students surveyed said the campus website had at least “somewhat of an influence” in their college selection process.*  One in five students said they removed a school from consideration because of a bad experience on an institution’s website.  One in two students stated a bad experience on a school’s website may have some negative effect on their perception of the school. * US News & World Report The Online Expectations of Prospective College Students and Their Parents

6 Website influence What are the top goals when visiting a campus website? * 2012 E-Expectations Report: The Online Expectations of College-Bound Juniors and Seniors

7 Website influence What are prospective students’ general attitudes toward Web design and content? * 2012 E-Expectations Report The Online Expectations of College-Bound Juniors and Seniors Websites should Students go to Web to get The most important part of a website

8 Website influence What are students’ content priorities? * 2012 E-Expectations Report The Online Expectations of College-Bound Juniors and Seniors Web ContentFirst Priority Most Important Mobile Academics55%47%23% Cost/Aid23%29%17% Admissions process11% Campus visit5%3% Campus life3%5%4% Athletics3%

9 Current website statistics  Home page 4,247,154 pageviews past seven months 20,128 average pageviews per day  Website 10,499,199 pageviews past seven months 49,759 average pageviews per day

10 Heatmap results This graphical representation of data uses colors to indicate the level of activity. Darker colors indicate low activity and brighter colors indicate high activity. One-Day Report April 12, 2012

11 Top pages 1.Homepage 2.Admissions 3.Academics 4.Library 5.About 6.Campus Life 7.Athletics 8.Site Index 9.Applying to the College 10.Employment 11.Financial Aid 12.School of Business 13.School of Education, Health, and Human Performance 13.Explore the College 14.School of the Arts 15.School of Sciences and Mathematics 16.School of Humanities and Social Sciences 17.Human Resources 18.School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs 19.Giving 40.Honors College 54.Student Affairs In order of frequency visited * Results provided from College of Charleston Google analytics from Aug. 11, 2011 – June 30, 2012

12 Statistical summary  The information provided in slides 5-11 indicate that our website is being used primarily by prospective students and their families.  In addition, the experience they have with the website will either dismiss the College as a viable option or will encourage them to continue their connection with the College.

13 Design/content weaknesses  Homepage Flash doesn’t provide clear instructions on accessing feature stories and videos  Lack of call to action, such as “Apply” and “Visit” links  Require too many clicks to reach most frequently visited information  Lack of more informational links (videos, news articles, etc.)  Not having a well-defined target audience

14 Refresh tactics  Reorganize homepage  Increase use of available resources  Split current website: Internet and Intranet  Replace homepage banner with more intuitive graphic feature  Implement enhanced navigational menu  Implement enhances footer

15 Homepage enhancement  Reorganize homepage Group similar information to simplify homepage  Increase use of available resources Easy and obvious links to resources such as YouTube videos, majors and minors information and College of Charleston magazine articles

16 Internet vs. Intranet Divide current website into two sections:  Internet a public network accessible to outside users  Intranet a private network that is contained within an organization designed for an internal audience

17 Internet and Intranet AspectInternetIntranet GoalsCommunication, support institutional strategic goalsBroad goals including, but not limited to, communication of information accurately while improving faculty, staff and student efficiency AudienceExternal users with a limited understanding of the organization Internal employees with a good understanding of the organization Efficiency- Pages must display in a reasonable time - Messages and graphics may be used to make a good impression - Primary goal is to improve efficiency and communication - Unnecessary content deters from productivity Size and contentSmall to medium with minimal changes to the content, possibly weekly or monthly on a actively changing site Medium to massive with content changing regularly ContentNarrow, centered around key information and servicesBroad, varied types and content focused on the tools need to perform their job PresentationAppearance and functionality very importantConsistency more important than appearance AuthorsOften centralizedOften decentralized © 2012 WEIDENHAMMER SYSTEMS CORPORATION.

18 Flash replacement Replace homepage banner with more intuitive graphic feature

19 Mega dropdown menu  Improves usability – easier to navigate  Wider multi-column view allows users to locate useful information faster  Provides an area to headline special features  Gives a cleaner, less-crowded header and sidebar  Everything is visible at once - no scrolling, no submenus  Navigation links can be divided into groups and structured with layout, typography and icons

20 Menu examples Abilene Christian University Abeline, TX University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE

21 Menu examples Ashford University Clinton, IA Brigham Young University Provo, UT

22 Functional footer  Assists the users to find information more quickly  Serves the purpose of a multi-functional widget  Provides a cleaner, less-crowded header and sidebar  Helps keep readers involved on site through links and other content  Provides additional space to place other elements that are otherwise unfit on sidebars or headers

23 Functional footer examples Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC Freed Hardeman University Henderson, TN

24 Functional footer examples University of Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN Liberty University Lynchburg, VA

25  A website refresh will strengthen both the internet and intranet experiences ensuring a positive and more intuitive experience allowing users to find the information they need quickly and efficiently. Recap  The website experience should motivate the external users to take action - a campus visit, application process, etc.

26 Recommendations









35 Steps to completion Finalize wireframe for home page Wireframe for supporting pages and systems  User Interface Designs – menus, footers, etc.  HTML/CSS coding  Content Management System templates  Content Migration  Deployment

36 Roadmap  College of Charleston home page  Primary pages (About, Academics, etc.)  Secondary pages (Academic Programs, Departments, etc.)  Tertiary pages

37 Resources  Collegewebeditor An independent, popular, and influential blog about the Web, marketing, and PR in higher education  STAMATS Best Web Site Practices Nation’s premier provider of integrated marketing solutions for higher education institutions  A Home[page] for All 5 tips to ease website redesigns By: Ann McClure - University Business, Jan 2012  EduStyle A web design gallery dedicated to higher education websites and powered by higher education web design professionals.  Noel Levitz A higher education consulting firm that helps campuses achieve their goals in enrollment management and student success.

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