How to make your cookie game #WarriorStrong

Ingredients and supplies:

  • 1 W shield cookie press (available at the WSU Bookstore)
  • Sugar cookie dough (store-bought or homemade)
  • Flour
  • Royal icing — see instructions below
  • Sprinkles
  • Parchment paper
  • Mini spatula (OK, you don’t really need this — but it is fun to use)
  • Toothpicks
  • Cookie sheet
  • Oven
  • Cooling rack (optional, because we didn’t have one)
  • Camera (because we want pictures!)

Step 1:

Cover your cookie sheet in parchment paper (not pictured because we forgot).

Step 2:

Roll out the dough until it is about a quarter-inch thick. 

Knead the dough Roll out the dough

Step 3:

Sprinkle flour on the cookie press and press it firmly into the dough. Repeat until you run out of space. If they don’t look like the picture, you did it wrong!

Press cookie into the dough

Step 4:

Using your mini spatula (or whatever you substitute for this — a knife will do), remove the extra dough from the shields and place your cutouts on the cookie sheet.

Place on cookie sheet

Step 5:

Bake cookies according to dough specifications. Pro tip: The cooler the dough, the less the cookies will spread in the oven.

Step 6:

Do some homework while you wait for your cookies to bake.

Step 7:

Remove cookies from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Then, carefully move the cookies to a cooling rack. Note: This is not a job for the mini spatula.

Allow cookies to cool

Step 8:

Make the royal icing.

  • Option A: Invite your most talented baking friend over and have them make it.
  • Option B: Google it — and know that it’s quite the process!

Step 9:

Decorate the cookies according to your icing preferences.

Decorate the cookies

Step 10:

Do more homework while you wait for your cookies to dry.

Step 11:

Arrange on a plate, and prepare to wow your friends!Arrange on the plate

Step 12:

Show off your #WarriorStrong baking skills and beam with #WarriorPride by posting your cookies on your favorite social media channel. Don’t forget to tag us so we can see your creations!

 

Facebook: @waynestateuniversity

Twitter: @waynestate

Instagram: @waynestate

Snapchat: @waynestateuniv

Why is Facebook boring all of a sudden?

Have you noticed that Facebook is incredibly dull lately? Well, it might be because you are not seeing the amazing content from Wayne State in your feed anymore.

The good news

You can easily tell Facebook you want to see more of our content.

The easiest way to get us back in your feed:

The bad news

You still won’t see everything, but some Warrior content is better than no Warrior content, right?!

2017 in pictures

As we get ready to say hello to 2018, a look back at 2017 Photo of the Day shows what an amazing year we had on campus and in the Detroit area!

2017 top five

Photo of Old Main
Photo of the Day for October 25, 2017: “Hogwarts in Detroit?” Submitted by Rasik Mostafa.

Photo of the Day for May 14, 2017: Happy Mother’s Day Photo by Selma Medic-Cufurovic.

Photo of the Day for October 26, 2017: Season of colors Submitted by Komal Parab.

Photo of the Day for April 19, 2017: “Sky has no limit. Follow your dreams.” Photo by Dawn Turchin.

Photo of the Day for February 6, 2017: “Life as a 3 year old when your Mom is a PhD Nursing Student.” Photo submitted by Amanda Deriemacker

Photo of the Day stats for 2017 (Jan. 1 – Dec. 15)

  • 894 photos were submitted
  • 838 pics were up for consideration (56 were deemed unusable, too small, broken link, etc…)
  • 456 individuals submitted photos
  • 239 pictures were selected (27% of all submissions)

Connor Ashley and Shreyash Khond were our top repeat submitters.

  • Connor submitted 30 entries and was featured 7 times.
  • Shreyash Khond submitted 30 entries and was featured 5 times.

Old Main was one of our most popular subjects. It was Photo of the Day 26 times.

Engagement by platform

  • Flickr – 48,856
  • Twitter – 56,213
  • Facebook – 37,245
  • Instagram – 94,560

Total – 236,874

2017 Editors’ picks

Photo of the Day for October 5, 2017: “WSU giving some serious Hogwarts feels” Photograph submitted by Aiman Hussain.

Photo of the Day for May 5, 2017: “Captured this walking to my chemistry final at DeRoy Auditorium” Photo by Luis Coronel-Machado.

Photo of the Day for July 4, 2017: “Detroit Fireworks 2017. Thank you #waynestatepolice #detroitpolice #detroit #detroitfireworks #wsu Photo by James Laginess.

Photo of the Day for October 16, 2017: Behind the scenes of the Warrior Strong campaign.

Photo of the Day for December 13, 2017: Mary Lou Lynch, Maria Giammara and Hariette Williams didn’t get to graduate from college but their granddaughters did! Submitted by Jacqueline Giammara and Sha’Ron Williams

A good week on the web

The Web Communications team has been busy making updates, launching sites and improving the web experience for its users. In case you missed it, here are some of the items we’ve been working on this week.

New string series launched on wayne.edu

https://wayne.edu/story/creative-warriors-in-the-community

String stories are a new feature on wayne.edu

Every two weeks the Marketing and Communications team launches a new page that includes curated condensed articles that are all related to one topic. These new pages are called “strings”. This weeks string is focused on Creative Warriors featuring stories on healing through the arts, Jazz musicians in Detroit and community art projects.

All of the string stories showcase the work that is being done by our faculty, students and alumni.

The next string launches on Monday, October 16.

Facebook Live event featuring WSU Press

https://www.facebook.com/waynestateuniversity/videos/10155244871307968/

Example of graphics used for promoting the WSU Press Live Event

The social media team took you behind the scenes of the WSU Press office. A guided tour from their staff takes you from the front office to the warehouse and all the steps in between in publishing a new book.

This Live event is the first of many to come. Future events will feature sneak peeks and behind the scenes looks at our Warriors in Action.

Follow us on Facebook for announcements of the next live event.

Older sites migrated to a new server

All summer and into the fall our developers have been migrating sites off of an older server onto a newer, faster, and more secure environment. At the start of the project, there were over 200 sites to move and now they are down about 20. This week they have migrated:

Big things to come…

If you’ve been by the Marketing and Communications office lately, you may have felt a buzz in the air or maybe you’ve seen many us running around campus with film crews, or outside measuring light poles or witnessed some other fairly odd behavior. Well soon all will be revealed, but until then, the entire Web Communications Team is busy making sure all the web assets are in order to support this great undertaking by Marketing and Communications. If you are dying to know what we’re up to, follow us on the University’s social channels and you’ll get an exclusive first look on October 15.

 

When less is more, A/B test insights

Last year we re-focused on the admissions area of wayne.edu to reduce the depth of the site (from five to two levels deep) and bring more resources to the front page. As a result the landing page highlights the six most popular audiences and their navigation items.

Each audience has its own landing page, with the same navigation and unique elements which speak to that audience. We found these audience landing pages were being visited less frequently than before the redesign.

Our theory

Initially, we thought users were clicking on a link below their audience heading and getting directly to their needed page. We decided to test this theory using a tool called Hotjar to record where users clicked on the page.

Admissions homepage clickmap

Although each audience listed their entire menu below the headings, the top three items were by far the most popular.

Revised hypothesis

We decided to test if removing the least popular items made it more clear to users that they could visit an audience landing page. If this is the case, are they more likely to visit these pages by clicking the audience heading or ellipse at the bottom of the link list?

“A” variant of the page

Admissions A variant

“B” variant of the page

Admissions B variant

Winner: Shorter list of links with the ellipses

After running the experiment for two weeks, Google found a statistically significant winning version.

Admissions experiment results

Headers or last item ellipse?

Admissions header vs. Ellipse

Of the clicks to the audience landing pages, the headers yielded ~2.5% of the clicks while the ellipses yield ~1%.

Insights

The takeaway from this experiment is it’s possible to go too far while reducing the depth of a website. Having everything accessible from the homepage may be good if you’re familiar with all the options, but it can be overwhelming for unfamiliar users.

Keeping a website as flat as possible while reducing the number of choices to entice users along yields the most interactions. It allows for the addition of refined and contextual content to reinforce a user’s decisions along each page of their journey.

Hiring: Student Web Assistant

The student web assistant will report to the Web Content Administrator and will be the ‘front line’ contact for School of Medicine web requests through email and phone calls.

This person will take the initial request, respond and gather any additional information, complete the request (if small) or elevate it to a staff member when additional assistance is needed or is a larger request.

The position does require some existing knowledge of how the web works, basic HTML and familiarity with web-based content management systems.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Good written and phone abilities, who is a freshman or sophomore
  • A basic understanding of HTML
  • A basic understanding of web usability
  • Comfortability editing pages in a web-based content management system
  • Experience resizing and optimizing images for the web
  • The ability to detect patterns of requests to create training material and document common responses to frequently asked questions
  • The ability to follow verbal and written directions with an eye for attention to detail

More about the position:

This is a paid position, requiring 15-20 hours a week in the School of Medicine Web Services office.

The volume of requests varies per day, but the average is 20-30 with most taking only a few minutes to complete.

The web assistants role in a request:

A requests comes into the system and depending on the detail of the request:

  • You may need to follow up in email or by phone with additional questions

Once all information is available:

  • Determine which page(s) need editing.
  • Determine how these pages get edited (there may be multiple systems involved), which may require asking some questions internally about the page setup.
  • Ensure the primary contact is looped in on all changes.
  • Facilitate the necessary changes are made (May take a few minutes to a few hours)
    • Including gathering follow up questions/answers
  • After completion, follow up to let the requestor know the change has been completed.

While completing requests it will also be required to document common responses for consistency and to speed up future requests. It will also be required to work closely with the two other School of Medicine Web staff members and the extended Web Communications team. The Web team uses the same servers, tools and already have an extensive library of frequently asked questions and answers.

How to apply

If this sounds like you, email your resume and a cover letter to web@wayne.edu with the subject “Interested in the Student Web Assistant position”.

A picture is worth a huge jump in traffic

What could possibly make a webpage’s traffic grow by 235 percent in one year? Our beautiful campus of course!

Last September we launched “Photo of the Day”, a social campaign that focuses on the beauty and uniqueness of our campus and Midtown. The positive reaction has been overwhelming, not only in positive comments, but in positive statistics as well.

Stat overview:

Since September 2015:

  • We have received 658* submissions
  • From 275 individuals in the campus community
  • 337 pics have been featured on the site so far.

*41 of the 658 submissions were duplicates or contained broken files. The total of photographs up for consideration is 617.

Submissions

Submissions have grown nearly 600 percent from 2015 to 2016 with a large jump in October.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-1-48-46-pm

What is equally as impressive, the quality of the submissions are getting greater each month. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve always had high quality photos to showcase, but in the last two months, the quantity of high quality photographs is dramatically higher.

Web traffic

This is first and foremost a social campaign, but of course it has to live on the web. We share the lastest pic on Instagram, Twitter and we recently added it to our Facebook page. All posts link back to the Photo of the Day website.

Unique page visits have grown more than 230 percent from 2015 to 2016. Again, with the most significant jump last month.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-1-48-25-pm

Our highest traffic day was October 5, 2016 with 158 unique visits featuring the work of Paige Urbano.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-1-30-15-pm

Social stat – Most liked and most retweets

Our most ‘liked’ pic on Instagram and most retweeted post featured the work of Tyler Neal. This one is a personal favorite as well.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-1-02-39-pm

 

Social stats – Most impressions

The Photo of the Day tweet with the most impressions (nearly 11,000) was submitted by Justin Jacob. Justin has been a frequent submitter and you can routinely see his work featured on the Wayne State homepage.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-1-20-33-pm

Looking ahead

In the last few months we started featuring some Photos of the Day on the university homepage and although we can’t get stats on each pic featured, we are again getting very positive feedback. With the success of this feature, we are exploring other avenues to share this extraordinary content.

Submit yours!

Even though the popularity has grown so much, we are still strongly encouraging the community to send in your campus pics! We want to show off campus from everyone’s perspective not just our own.

See the latest selections and submit your own pics at wayne.edu/photo-of-the-day

Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Detroit on Thursday, May 19, 2016

register-now

Back for the third year, Global Accessibility Awareness Day Detroit is a day for web professionals to gather together to learn about accessibility and how to make the web more accessible and usable by everyone. Events will be held around the world to raise awareness about web accessibility.

This year’s event is jointly hosted by Refresh Detroit and Metro Detroit WordPress.

Who is this event for?

If you’re working on the web, creating, developing, or designing websites or content for others to use, this event is for you! Or if you want to learn how we can work together to make the web accessible to everyone, we’d love for you to attend.

Learn to listen: Experience the Web from the perspective of a screen reader user

You work hard on your web content, the goal being for that content to reach as wide an audience as possible. To that end, you study all the accessibility-related guidelines and do your best to apply them to your work.

But what does it all really mean? How does someone who uses a screen reader experience your site? How will the next change you’re planning to make impact that experience?

In this hands-on session with Al Puzzuoli, you will learn to use a screen reader as a tool to answer the questions above.

  • First, you’ll learn the basics of controlling your computer and navigating the web, using only a screen reader and your keyboard.
  • Next, you will see examples of accessible sites that play nice with screen readers, and other inaccessible ones, which decidedly do not.
  • Finally, the fun begins, as it will be time to play! You will have the opportunity to go the the website of your choice, and use your newly honed skills to do some basic accessibility testing

Note for all attendees: If you have a Windows or Mac laptop, we encourage you to bring it so you can get hands-on with a screen reader. We’ll be working in small groups.

Windows users are recommended to download and install the free NVDA screen reader on the laptop before the event.

Al Puzzuoli

As the resident Information Technologist at Michigan State University’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities, Al Puzzuoli spends his time doing network and server administration, troubleshooting computer concerns, and working with staff and students to test the accessibility of various information systems across campus.

When he is not working (or playing with computers), Al enjoys swimming, playing the trumpet, bowling, and spectator sports.

Agenda

6:30pm to 7:00pm: Welcome, refreshments, and networking
7:00pm to 7:10pm: Introductions
7:10pm to 8:20pm: Presentation and interactive workshop
8:20pm to 8:30pm: Announcements
8:30pm: Time to leave

Sponsorship Opportunities

By sponsoring our event, you’ll have access to an audience of web and business professionals throughout southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio.

To thank you for your sponsorship, Refresh Detroit offers a number of benefits. Contact Deborah at deborah at lireo dot com for more information.

 

Excluding slick carousel using webpack, babel and the UglifyJsPlugin

While learning webpack and babel, our team had an issue with trying to run certain NPM packages through babel. Since we only want to pass ES2015 code through it, we need to exclude packages that don’t use it. To do that you can specify certain folders under node_modules to ignore in your webpack.config.js file like this:

What this will do is exclude slick-carousel from going through babel-loader, but it will still be part of the JS build and make it’s way down the pipe to the UglifyJsPlugin. Note: the exclude is not a string so it should not have quotes around it.

 

Side Note:

It’s possible to pass /node_modules/ and ignore all packages going through babel, but this wasn’t what we needed. Zurb Foundation 6.2 requires passing code through babel, so excluding all of node_modules wasn’t an option for us.

Please update all Pipeline references on your websites

Pipeline will officially be switching over to Academica on Friday, July 31.

Now is a good time to do a search on your website for anything Pipeline-related.

To do this in the CMS, log in via http://cms.wayne.edu and go to Add/Edit pages.

Searching in the CMS page listType Pipeline in the search box above your page listing and click Search. This will find any pages on your site that reference Pipeline. (See screenshot on right.)

You will have to manually update these areas.

If you were referring to instructions in the old Pipeline and have questions about how the process has changed, you can contact C&IT via email at cit@wayne.edu.