Summary of the Website Redesign Preview

Posted on 4/30/2015 11:38:50 AM

Wednesday’s Web Maintainer Summit was attended by over 80 web maintainers from around campus. For the many who couldn’t make it, here’s a summary of the session. (If you want the short version, you may wish to skip down to the Launch Schedule and Getting Your Site Ready.)

The slides are available for download (16.4MB, IUP only, login required). Additionally, a Blackboard Collaborate recording of the session is available on itube (login required).

SWAP Drawing to a Close

The Strategic Website Assistance Project, or SWAP, wraps up on May 28 when the updated Criminology and Criminal Justice website goes live. The results from the site updates are encouraging. We are particularly excited to have most of the departments done at this point because this is the time during which high school juniors are looking around to see which colleges have their major.

Goals of the Redesign

  1. More consistent branding across all media (print, TV, online). The redesign brings the website up to date with the look of our printed materials, making for a better experience for prospective students.
  2. A responsive site that adapts to screen sizes, large or small. Responsive websites adapt to the size of their visitors’ screens, making them work well on everything from cell phones to large, high-density displays. This approach allows us to offer our full site on mobile devices, without having to maintain a separate mobile site.
  3. Make page arrangement easier for web maintainers. Our current template restricts where certain elements (like news feeds) can be placed. The new design adopts Ektron PageBuilder technology, which provides a drag-and-drop interface for placing elements onto page layouts.

Additionally, the new site will aid our efforts to increase the accessibility of our main website.

The Redesign Team

The redesign is a collaboration between the Web Team, the Design Studio, and IT Services.

Design Samples

Download the slides to see some site mockups.

Launch Schedule

All dates are our best estimates.

Approximate Date What Happens Notes
June 1 Upgrade to Ektron 9.1
  • No change visible for site visitors
  • Slight changes in the Ektron Workarea
June 15 Training Sessions for New Site Begin
  • These may be sooner or later as system upgrades permit
June 30 Upgrade to New Templates
  • Access to Staging limited for several days
  • Top 100+ pages reviewed by Web Team
  • Visitors see new design
July 1 Staging Opened to Web Maintainers
  • Review your site for any issues caused by the upgrade
August 15 All Key Content Reviewed
  • Ready for fall semester

Getting Your Site Ready

The Web Team is working with IT Services to make the transition to the new template as seamless as possible. You current pages will be moved to the new design automatically, and the Web Team will be double-checking all the most-visited pages before launch, and continue resolving any issues that come up throughout the summer.

That said, there are a few things that web maintainers can do now to make the transition to the new website easier. Getting these complete by June 23 will help make our update process much smoother.

Make Sure You’re Using Quicklinks

We’ve always asked that web maintainers use quicklinks when linking from one CMS page to another. Because this update will change the ID number of many pages on the website, it’s important to use quicklinks so that we can avoid broken links when the upgrade is done.

Web Team How-To on Quicklinks

Check Your Summaries

On the new site, you may find that more visitors see your page summaries. Making sure these are up to date is a good idea.

Web Team How-To on Summaries

Check In All Content

Any content that is in a checked-in state when we update the site will not move to the new site template. This is true even for pages that are published and currently visible on the site. Basically, any content block without a status of “A”—that is, published—will not get updated to the new design.

So it’s vital that each web maintainer goes to the Workarea, looks at their Dashboard, and checks their list of “Content Currently Checked Out.” Make sure that you have no content checked out.

Web Team How-To on Checking Content In and Out

Then Publish It or Delete It

If you have any old content on your website that you know you don’t need any more, it will help the update process if you request deletion of those pages. This will save us from working on pages that are no longer needed.

Remember, only published content will move to the new website. Checked out, checked in, and submitted content will not be converted.

Web Team Help About Deleting Content

Update Any ViewMasters to Carousels

We think that most of these have been updated by now, but if your site is still using the old-style ViewMaster (one big trapezoid with four little trapezoid thumbnails), you’ll want to update those to carousels. The ViewMasters use Adobe Flash, which does not work on mobile devices. Because 1 in 4 visitors to the website is on a mobile device, we will no longer support ViewMasters on the new site. (They’ll just be removed during the launch process.)

Web Team How-To on Carousels

Participate in the “First Click” Test

We’ll soon be conducting some first-click testing of the new design. Watch for the link soon.

Thanks

Thanks to everyone who attended. This is a big step for the website, and we are glad we got to talk to so many of you face to face. If you’ve got any questions, please send them to web-team@iup.edu. We’ll be publishing a Q & A post next week, drawing from any questions we’ve been sent.