As with any project, measurable goals must be established prior to start. Outcomes should align with the UNH Strategic Initiatives.
Within higher education and research environments outcomes could include:
- Increased enrollment
- Increase in attendance to events
- Brand awareness
- Time savings for your audience
- Time savings for your staff
- Ease of use
- Information dissemination
- Interaction with media
- Interaction with donors
- Accessible communication
Your project scope should articulate the specific metrics.
Call to Action
Newton’s third law, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” holds true for website communication. All of your web content should solicit an action. Typically, a request for email address, information or collaboration. The reaction should be equal to your action. The return on your investment should be equal to or greater than the expense of time and resources.
The value of online communications is the ability to measure the success of your outreach programs and adjust your efforts accordingly. Prior to developing a website, establish the metrics that are important to you. Take the time to review your current Web analytics during the planning process. Metrics are not limited to Web analytics and can include:
- Focus Group
- Business productivity reports
- Financial reports
Before meeting with the web development team, your department should identify staff to plan, implement and maintain the website. Throughout the project, a project team or lead individual should work with the web development team and your content providers to oversee the project.
Clearly state your business requirements.
- How will your website engage your audience?
- How will the website meet your goals?
- What kind of interaction with audience is required?
- Are there any legal considerations, such as copyright, HIPPA, privacy and data protection?
- How does your website compare to peers and competitors?
- Are there similar existing websites within UNH?
- What is your “call to action”?
- What is your expected result?
- What is your budget?
- How will this project be funded?
- How will you measure Return on Investment (ROI)?
- Will your website allow for user generated content?
- Will you host multi-media?
- Will you require a “members” site for users?
- Will your website integrate with other applications, such as Blackboard or Banner?
- Internal (UNH only)
- Undergrad Students
- Graduate Students
- Professional Development enrollees
- Undergrad Prospects
- Graduate Prospects
- Peer Institutions
- News Media
- General Public
- Allocate staff to conduct a content review
- Develop a timeline to complete the site inventory audit
- Start by creating an inventory of all site content
- Review and “grade” each content item; retain and migrate, edit or delete
- Identify Web editors
- Create a process flow for managing your content, include an archiving or retirement process
- Each content item should have a life span, preferably under 1 year
- If over 1-2 years old, it should be archived or deleted
- Examine the content you would like to move. Web Solutions will assist with the development of your website navigation based on this content
Content Types (collections of information)
- Staff profiles
- Contact information
- Common or Shared content (directions, contact information)
General Content Guidelines:
- Web content should be public-facing and current
- All content should be original to the specific section. Avoid restating or linking to other UNH content. Doing so inhibits the organic search capability of the UNH search and other search engines. Additionally, one should only be responsible for the accuracy, accessibility, copyright and quality of one’s own content.
- All UNH and USNH polices apply
- All content must conform to Web accessibility, copyright and data protection regulations
- UNH website is published globally and should reflect global communication standards
- Ensure you have proper rights to all content (copyright and intellectual property)
- Clear, concise, well-organized
- Accessible content. Avoid use of acronyms, slang and informal language
- Easily skimmed. Use headings and lists appropriately
- All pages should have a unique Title
- Each page should have a short, clear description
- Do not color, underline or bold your text excessively. The use of these design items typically infer a link and may be misleading.
- Use a consistent grammatical and visual style throughout the web
- Include the entire phone number with area code or country code. 603-852-2334 This enables devices to call directly from the link.
- No flashing, scrolling or blinking text
- “Alt text” provided for images
Images and media
- Image releases and/or copyright are required for all images
- All media must be accessible
- .jpg, .gif or .png formats
- Images must be of good quality
- Images must reflect the high quality of the UNH identity
Web architecture is developed on three levels, content, application* and system*. As a Web Manager, your responsibility it to best plan, create and manage the content relevant to your organization. Now that you have determined your content requirements, Web Solutions will work to create a web application to meet those needs. Drupal is the primary Web application used by UNH. Within Drupal, Web Solutions can create special content types (for example, faculty profiles, events calendar, news releases, slideshows and more) and functionality. If necessary, Web Solutions can integrate with existing systems or develop new applications to meet your needs.
Web Solutions will:
- Develop a wireframe based on your content
- Determine and architect content types
- Develop permissions structure to meet the client publishing workflow
Working with your input, we will develop a template to meet your content needs. The template will adhere to UNH branding guidelines if it is a UNH managed website.
Upon approval of the content architecture and design, Web Solutions will build the website, test compliance, security, functionality, submit for approval and publish the website.
At this time your staff will assume the Web Content Management Role. As with any publication, an editorial calendar and publishing workflow should be developed. Where possible, publishing workflows and editor permissions will be built into the website application.
Tools, Resources and Tips:
- If you search your site within Google, search site:url, it will return the approximate number of pages on a website
- Example: site:http://unh.edu returns about 313,000 results (0.18 seconds)
- To return links in to your website search link:url://unh.edu
- Example: link:http://unh.edu returns about 3,420,000 results. This will allow you to see who is linking to your current site. You will have the opportunity to notify key partners that your links will be changing and to update their site. This is only relevant for high profile or important links
- Web Solutions should be able to provide a complete inventory of site content in a spreadsheet format
- Application- The application level is the software that runs your website. Examples of Web applications include Drupal, RSS, WordPress and custom software development.
- Call to Action- a request to a Web viewer that solicits an action.
- System- The system level of a website is the server environment. Think of this as the operating system for your website. Web Solutions has built a secure, extendable web system that meets the needs of the UNH public website.
- User – any individual who access an application, either as an administrator or as an end user.