Skip to content

Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Dec 31 / Nick DeNardis

2013 – Web Year in Review

It’s been a long year and we thought it would be good to look back at what we accomplished. We’re a small team, only ten of us full time (including myself), and a few part timers, to maintain 550+ institutional websites. Over the past five years we have used this blog as a platform, when time permits, to give some insight into our work, workload and processes. We have been quiet the last few months and in those months we have experienced the most change to our team, process and the work we produce.

I thought it would be good for myself, and you (of course), to take a look back at the last year to reflect on what we have done and how we have changed. This year we launched 25 sites. That’s one every other week. I have highlighted a collection of the most public sites:

University homepage

Homepage

This year we took on an ambitious redesign project, take six months to reimagine and reconstruct wayne.edu from the ground up. We put a small team together dedicated to this single project and on December 16th they brought us what you see today. I’ll be writing more about the project in 2014 but we now have a website and platform to build the future upon.

Online Directory

directory
With the launch of the new homepage also came a completely online campus directory. Previously the directory was a print document and static Web pages. We worked with C&IT to integrate the data right into the main campus map and then into a completely new “WSU Directory” frontend.

Office of Military and Veterans Academic Excellence

military

Military and Veterans Academic Excellence was a redesign project to bring their website in line with the new capabilities of the office.

Wayne Law

law-school

A complete overhaul of the Law School website and most of its digital communication properties. The new website is people focused and takes advantage of everything Wayne Law is doing.

Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute

mpsi

A few small visual tweaks turned into an almost complete overhaul of the MPSI website. The goal is to use the visual design to build coherence to the Institute of Gerontology.

School of Library and Information Science

slis

Another school where we completely reimagined their online identity. The School of Library and Information Science is much more than just teaching librarians to work in physical libraries. We took that inspiration and designed a website that was information focused and different than any other website we have produced in the past.

10,000 Small Businesses – Detroit

10ksbdetroit

A non-university branded website built to support the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.

Office of Economic Development

economicdevelopment

A new website for an office that did not have a Web presence previously. There is a lot happening in Midtown Detroit and the greater downtown Detroit area. This site highlights how Wayne State University is a driving force in the surrounding area.

Office of International Programs

oip

The OIP is an umbrella department that oversees various international programs.

Educational Outreach

educationaloutreach

As the university’s presence outside of main campus evolves so does our Web presence. Previously we had separate websites for each extension center, with this redesign we changed that. We brought all areas outside of main campus into a single website.

Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

iehs

A reconstruction of an institute’s online presence. The new site is completely different than the previous and now more appropriately aligns to the institute’s goals.

Office of the President

president

This year the university welcomed a new President, and with any new leadership comes a new website. It was a great time to take a step back and analyze the goals and needs of a presidential website. We started from the ground up and created a website that President M. Roy Wilson can build upon as he shapes the university.

Office of Career Services

careerservices

The Career Services website is a project we took on this year. The new site is now responsive and gets straight to the point, connecting employers with students.

Division of Development

giving

A complete redesign from the previous site to focus on events, news and a responsive design.

Alumni

alumni

We also redesigned the Alumni site from a third party CMS to integrate with the rest of the university systems. The goal was to have the same feel as the Giving website but make sure it still maintained its own identity.

Office of Continuing Education – School of Social Work

socialwork-continuing

We were tasked at redesigning the Social Work Continuing Education website from Joomla into our native CMS.

Faculty Orientation

faculty-oritentation

Each year the University welcomes new faculty, we built a website to get them oriented with the University and Detroit.

Digital Signage

signage

In addition to websites our team also launched a few new digital signage templates around campus. The four highlighted above show the range of things we accomplish with the signs.

The College of Nursing uses their signs during the first week of classes to highlight which rooms their classes are in. The Recreation and Fitness Center uses theirs to highlight current and upcoming fitness classes. We created some full screen quotes by our president, M. Roy Wilson, to rotate through each sign. And finally our Welcome Center has a student sign in system, in partnership with the university’s CRM team, we hooked the sign to the data from that system and now display the waiting queue and wait times for students.

HTML Emails

html-emails

Throughout the year we have expanded our HTML email templates and capabilities. We introduced the ability to have multiple editable areas within a single email. There is no way to display the hundreds of emails we impacted this year but here is a subset:

40 Payment RSVP’s

Total RSVP’s integrated, tested and launched. That’s one for every other week of the year.

6 Live Streaming Events

From commencement ceremonies to guest lectures, we promote, stream events live, and moderate the chat during the event.

664.60 Website Maintenance Hours, 13,410.18 Total Hours Tracked

hours-2

The graph above is just an overview, click for a more detailed inventory of how we spent our time this last year.

Looking to 2014

We have a few sites that didn’t make the cut this year to launch, they just weren’t ready. 2014 is going to be a big year, we are on track to relaunch at least four school/college sites and three major divisions. We will be integrating more sites into the new wayne.edu platform and focusing on data driven UX changes. We also have a few surprises up our sleeves, so stay tuned.