Accessible building entrance icons added to the flash campus map

To increase awareness of all our accessible entrances on campus, we have implemented some new functionality to our campus map. We have added a toggle switch on the bottom-right side of the map to switch to an accessible entrances view, showing where the entrances are on each building.  There are two new icons in the map key to show Accessible Entrances with and without automatic doors.

Campus Map Togglecampus-map-ada

We have also provided a printable PDF version of the map that you can get from our printable maps page. Or try it out live at

Getting Around Campus On The Go

iPhone MapWe have begun adding functionality to our Campus Map, which is currently developed in Flash, to be accessible to the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The iPhone cannot view the Flash site so if you wanted to look at or follow the map you were out of luck. With a little iPhone detection we redirect users to:

Instead of getting a flash version of the map we converted it to an SVG image and embedded it. This allows for the fully viewable main campus map to be viewable and scalable without getting blurry. Although it is not the best solution it is a step in the right direction.

What’s Next?

As we continue to support the iPhone and iPod Touch features we will soon release a fully searchable map that includes all our campuses. It will also be able to link to the built in Google Map to pinpoint its location.

As C&IT expands wireless availability on campus the easier it is to get oriented with campus while you are walking through it.

Your Opinion

What would you like to see on the campus map? Are we missing something or is something not working like you expected? Let us know, we would love to hear about it. Just comment on this post.

[Guest Post] Tracking Flash Interaction with Google Analytics

Over at .eduGuru they are searching for a new blogger. They took applications and had everyone write a guest post, they then let the community decide who the next blogger should be.

I was one of the applicants and wrote my post on Tracking Flash Interaction with Google Analytics. The goal was to not only give the readers an enjoyable article but also real tools that can be used on their site for free and back that up with an actual example.

So we only have one week to vote, below I have the link to all the guest posts and the link to vote. All the applicants did a great job! I encourage everyone to read all the articles and vote for who you think should be the next .eduGuru blogger.

Read All Guest Posts

Vote For Your Favorite

Voting closes Midnight Saturday November 29th.

Tweaking the homepage for usability's sake

You probably have not noticed but we made a slight change to the flash panel on In the top drawer we place success stories from around campus. But before you get to the stories it was designed to display a branding image.

Why this made sense then

It made sense when we first launched because it had to portray a “new outlook” of Wayne State. After being stuck promoting events the last 5 years the main focus of the homepage was to show how vibrant and enjoyable campus is.

Why it was time to make a change

It is time to make the change now that the site has been up for a few months, students have come back to campus and are now accustom to the new homepage. We did a few tests and we found that the stories behind the More Information area were not getting as many views/clicks as we wanted. These were the real success stories that change minds and hearts and we needed to bring these to the forefront.

We tested different options

The best way to get these stories in front of users eyes is to remove a layer of the branding images so we started by just removing the branding images all together and put the most recent three stories up front. This got us the clicks we wanted but came at the cost of less people going to the More Information area and completely threw out our impacting images.

Our second test was to keep the first layer of impacting images but when someone clicks on a category within More Information it would go directly to the most recent story and not to another branding image. This would allow the user to not only get right to the most recent story but it also allowed them to easily click through the five categories to see if there was anything by image and not rely on the title.

What we decided on

We decided to keep the second test running. This offered the best results, it still allowed us to bring the impacting images front and center and allowed users to get to the success stories with fewer barriers. It has yielded a +10% increase in views of the newest stories.

Final Thoughts

Keep your users at the forefront of all design and information decisions. Although we did not get any complaints about the success stories being difficult to find we knew we could get more pertinent information to users instead of them just looking at pretty pictures all day. A users time is their most valuable asset and for them to spend any time on yoru site at all you should be flattered, don’t make them waste that time with barriers to information.

Honors Senior Giving Campaign – $20.08

We just launched an online giving campaign for the first graduating Honors students. The goal is the create a sense of accomplishment and leadership and to show support for future Honors students. 

We created a flash slideshow with overlaying text and background music. Photos of honors students who graduated were in the mix and the overall feel of giving back was the theme.

Giving back just $20.08 in 2008 was the catcher, less than a few cups of coffee can make the experience for the future Honors students even better.

On the technical end of the flash video is an XML based image feeder and text renderer. Changing images/text/transitions is as easy as a few variables. We have had a few requests for the same type of presentation in the past, streamlining it to XML made this project not only solid but flexible.