HighEdWeb Michigan – Wayne State University – April 20-21, 2015

register-nowRegistration is now open for the 2015 HighEdWeb Regional Conference in Michigan to be held at Wayne State University April 20-21! This is the regional, personal development opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

The cost to attend HighEdWeb Michigan is only $85, which grants you access to:

  • A full day and a half of dynamic presentations by higher ed web professionals, many of whom come from your peer institutions
  • One much-anticipated Keynote presentation
  • Two breakfast networking opportunities
  • An evening exploring downtown Detroit with heavy appetizers and networking
  • Conference swag
  • Swagger (the satisfaction of knowing you’re on the cutting edge)

Space is limited, we have sold out quickly each year.

Register today! HighEdWeb regional conferences are a great venue for attendees to join and benefit from great conversations that help them when they get back to the office. We anticipate a full house this year, and would like you to be a part of this incredible event.

The Michigan Regional Conference of the Higher Education Web Professionals Association is delighted to introduce our keynote speaker, Carl Erickson.

Keynote: Carl Erickson

Keynote: Carl EricksonCarl Erickson is the president and co-founder of Atomic Object, a 50-person software product development consultancy with offices in Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Ann Arbor. Atomic Object builds web, mobile, desktop, and device software products for clients ranging from startups to the Fortune 500.

Before founding Atomic in 2001, Carl was a VP of Engineering at a failed dot-com startup (briefly), and a university professor (not so briefly).

Carl also shares his experience on his blog Great Not Big – Experiments in Running a Small, Innovative Company.

Travel & Lodging

Lodging available from $169/night high atop Detroit on the riverfront. Limited HighEdWeb room rates expire on March 26th. It doesn’t cost up front to reserve your room, ensure you have a place to stay today.

Questions? Contact the HighEdWeb Michigan committee at hewebmi@gmail.com. Follow @hewebMI on Twitter for updates and information about the event, and join the conversation with the #hewebMI hashtag.

See you in Detroit this April!

Next Web workers meeting – March 20, 2015 – Accessibility

RAVPDo you manage a school/college/departmental website that represents the university? This meeting is for you.

Come share your successes, failures, questions and lessons learned with other Web workers from around campus.

This meeting’s agenda includes:

  • Matt Ouellett from the Office of Teaching and Learning will be facilitating a group discussion to create a Web accessibility working document
  • Round table

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to share their experiences.

March 20 at 10:30 a.m. in the Simon’s Room, 144 Purdy Library

RSVP is not required but suggested.

Next Web workers meeting – Feb. 6, 2015

RAVPDo you manage a school/college/departmental website that represents the university? This meeting is for you.

Come share your successes, failures, questions, and lessons learned with other Web workers from around campus.

This meeting’s agenda includes:

  • Elliot Polak talking about the recently redesigned Library System website and how their team has worked to improve the site since the initial redesign in August.
  • Nick DeNardis talking about front-end workflow and speed optimizations.
  • Round table

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to share their experiences.

Feb. 6 at 10:30 a.m. in the Simon’s Room, 144 Purdy Library

RSVP is not required but suggested.

[Video] Web Workshop: Intro. to Google Analytics

Last week I presented a workshop on Google Analytics. Since many schools/colleges/departments use the tool to track Web visitors, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get them in a room to explain the features/power of the system.

The workshop covered the following topics:

  • Setting it up on a site/multiple sites
  • Account/Property/View management
  • Intelligence Events
  • Real time
  • Audience overview/behavior
  • Technology/browser/mobile
  • Acquisition/referrers/search/campaigns/social
  • Behavior/visitor flow/site speed
  • Events/tracking/formy
  • Goals

Since a handful of people could not make the workshop, I recorded it. The audio is not ideal, but it will do.

Next workshop:

The August workshop will be on social media content strategy. The date/time is still being determined, but it will be posted here when it is confirmed.

Refresh Road Trip: Keep The Mobile Web Quick & Better Design with Reusable HTML & CSS – July 25, 2013

RSVPWhen: Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Where: The Qube 635 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI

Cost: Free

Speed by Design – Keep The Mobile Web Quick

As attention spans are heading towards zero and more and more of the population is constantly on-the-go, optimizing your mobile websites to load quickly and efficiently can make an enormous difference in visitor engagement, and most importantly, your bottom-line. Designing for performance should be a top-priority in keeping your visitors happy and allowing them do what they need to do quickly.

You’ll learn a few techniques on how to keep your mobile websites lean and loading quickly, how page speed is actually a component of good UX, how to test and benchmark under various network conditions, and how slow loading times can turn away visitors and potential paying customers.

About Jon Buda

Jon Buda is web developer who loves to design, or a designer who loves to code – depending on the day. He enjoys solving problems holistically, thinking about back-end, front-end, and design all as equally important parts in crafting great experiences. He helps to organize Refresh Chicago and is currently working with Table XI.

Front End Legos – Better Design with Reusable HTML & CSS

There are a million ways to write HTML and CSS, and everyone has their own, but is there a right way? Our code needs to be well structured, written in an organized manner, and performance driven. Sharing code with others should be a joyful experience, not absolute terror.

In this session, Shay will cover some best practices and performance tips for writing the highest quality HTML and CSS possible, and how it benefits your design. Writing code is the easy part, finding a modular practice and structure that works well across the board is the hard part. Shay will outline HTML and CSS conventions that can be applied to your everyday practice today.

About Shay Howe

As a designer and front end developer, Shay Howe has a passion for solving problems while building creative and intuitive applications. Shay specializes in product design and interface development, specialties in which he regularly writes and speaks about. Additionally, Shay helps co-organize Chicago Camps, Refresh Chicago, and UX Happy Hour. You can catch up with him on Twitter as @shayhowe or on his website at http://shayhowe.com/.


Four keys to effectively communicate your site’s problems

My name is Rommel and I am relatively new to the Web Communications team. If there is anything that I have learned in my first few months in Web Communications is that they have their own lingo – I dubbed it “WebSpeak.”

I guess that every work environment has its own shoptalk that only those that have been around a while can comprehend. I’ve witnessed WebSpeak first-hand while working in Web Communications. At first I was overwhelmed with learning the lingo, however, I realized that all shoptalk is universal; you just have to find a way to incorporate your perspective. Once you get your bearings, you’ll find that WebSpeak is easy to learn.

I also realized that learning the lingo is only half the communication. Some of the requests that come in to our inbox contain only bits of information. There is enough to figure out what the request is, but finding “where” on the site takes a bit of  detective work. Of course, there are some clients that are more versed with WebSpeak and their requests are easier to locate and identify. But for others, I’ve compiled a list of recommendations that, hopefully, helps them communicate the needs of their website.

Key 1: Provide the URL

The first key is very easy. If your site is having trouble, copy the URL (Web address) of the page with the error/issue and include that in your message to web@wayne.edu. If it’s a specific link in a page, please provide that as well. The more information you provide about which Web page you found the issue, the easier it will be for us to identify and fix the problem.

Key 2: Provide a deadline

Provide a deadline. Clearly suggesting your expectations on when you want the task to be completed can help us immensely. Depending on the amount of work we currently have, we can provide feedback if the project will take longer than your expected deadline.

Key 3: Allow for time

Please allow for time. There are always tasks in our work queue and some may take longer than expected and it pushes the rest of the queue back with each delay. So please bear with us.

Key 4: Learn the lingo

  • Website – An allocated space in the Internet that has its own domain name.
  • Sub-site – A separate site but still within the domain of a website. Larger sites can use this to separate different areas of their site.
  • Web page – A document displayed in an Internet browser window in HTML format, a computing language. This single page constitutes one Web page.
  • Homepage – The main page of a site or a subsite (the “index” page). I think of these as the lobbies.
  • Child page  – A child page is a Web page that is subordinate to another page, usually a home page.
  • Menu items – These are the navigation items to your site which link the homepage to the child pages. The menu remains, most of the time, static, within a site.
  • Sub-menu items – A menu item within a menu item.
  • Template – A template is ‘what separates the content from presentation in a Web design’ (thank you Wikipedia). If content were the entree, then the template would be the plate.
  • Content – These are the images, words, events, links, etc. of a Web page. I compare this to the “meat” of the site.
  • CMS – The Content Management System is an interface used by Wayne State University for clients to manage the content of their website. Clients provided with site access can log in using their WSU AccessID and password.
  • Copy – These are all the words within a Web page. You can usually select these words and they are editable through the CMS.
  • Image – Any non-text element within a Web page. These could be GIFs, JPEGs, JPGs, etc. (all image file formats).
  • PDF – These files are like snapshots of documents; some are editable and some are not while some can be created with fillable areas. This file format is widely used and not specific to an operating system.
  • Link – Also known as hyperlinks, links act as portals from one Web page/website to another. These are used to navigate Web pages/websites.
  • Text Link – Text links, also called “anchors,” are links within a page. These can be used to navigate a large amount of text within a page
  • Promotional Areas – Think of these as spaces or items within your website (usually the homepage) that can showcase things/events that you want to promote. These are always designed by a graphic designer and are programmed into the site’s main template. There are different forms of promo areas but as I will be using wayne.edu as an example:
    • Main Promo – These are the big images that are usually on the homepage and take up a lot of space.
    • Promo Boxes – Standard, square-shaped boxes with rotating images, usually used to showcase featured events.
    • Promo Buttons – These are unique static images that stay on a page that link to an promotional event/form/site. On wayne.edu, these would be the Apply buttons below the menu.
    • Promo Item – A singular promotional item/image.

I admit, it is not a comprehensive list but rest assured that I will keep adding things each time I learn a new phrase or word.

I hope this helps people get more acquainted with WebSpeak!


How does software quality happen?

Have you ever wondered why most software you interact with is hard to use or isn’t updated regularly to fix bugs? It’s a fundamental problem of computer science programs, they have failed to teach us how to manage software projects. Learning and using complex algorithms is just one small part of the software development process. The larger, more complicated (and ultimate determinator) of a project’s success is managing the requirements, time, team and process.

The most complex human task

Writing software is one of the most complex human tasks according to Douglas Crockford. Writing software isn’t a linear process, it is so complex we still haven’t learned how to create quality software. Although this is an older talk, it’s the best explanation I’ve heard about why writing software is so complex and what we can do about it.

The software crisis

He explains why the early programmers were so concerned with the software crisis and why it’s still happening today. If you are part of any software development process or even if you just use software on a daily basis this talk can give you some insight about why you may have frustrations around it.

Quality is more than good programming

Source: http://www.yuiblog.com/blog/2007/05/16/video-crockford-quality/

Upcoming Webinar: The .eduGuru Summit

Higher Ed Marketing & Web Development

September 22 & 23, 2011
9am – 4pm CT | Online!

Join some of the Web’s foremost experts in Higher Education Internet Marketing & Web Development for an all-new live, two-day online conference, The .eduGuru Summit! Sharpen your online strategies in Tuesday’s Marketing Track, tackle technical challenges in Wednesday’s Technical Track, or become a true guru by attending both days.

You get all the great knowledge and insight of some of the brightest minds working in Higher Ed today without all the hassle and expense of travel. See you there!

Conference Schedule

Web Governance in Higher Education
by Mark Greenfield, influential member of the higher education web community

Social Media for Yield, Retention & Graduation
by Jessica Krywosa, director of web communication at Suffolk University

Boosting Customer Service with Social Media
by Mike Petroff, web manager for enrollment at Emerson College

The Integrated Student Ambassador Program
by Mallory Wood, assistant director of marketing at Saint Michael’s College

Colleges Learning from the Insane Clown Posse
by Karlyn Morissette, higher education marketing consultant

The Prized Bargain Bin MoMA
by Georgy Cohen, manager of web content & strategy at Tufts University

SEO Tools for a College Web Rockstar
by Kyle James, product manager for blogging and SEO tools at HubSpot

Head First Video Strategy
by Michael Fienen, director of web marketing at Pittsburg State University

Golden Rule of the Web
by Nick DeNardis, associate director of web communications at Wayne State University

Semantics on the Web & You: Why?
by Jason Woodward, soon-to-be-entrepreneur information integrator in Ithaca, NY

Next Level Live Streaming
by Seth Odell, media marketing specialist in Los Angeles

10 Years in The Hole
by Dylan Wilbanks, former web developer at University of Washington

Register Now