August 2018 – CMS update

This month we are focusing the CMS update on self-paced CMS training.

Canvas course

We are excited to announce we have a new option for CMS training available on the university’s learning management system, Canvas.

The training can now be found in the “All courses” area of Canvas and is open to anyone with an active AccessID.

Browse for the “Web Communications” course.

Canvas course screenshot

The training will evolve over time

This is only the first step in the online CMS training platform. We will over time be adding more areas for accessibility, emails, events, forms, images, etc.

If there is an area that you feel would benefit from online training, please email

In-person training is still available

In-person training is still available by signing up at: We try to offer group training every few months especially as new units start interacting with the CMS or other university tools for the first time.


May 2018 CMS update

Updates to CMS page editor

We recently upgraded to a new version of our page editor in the CMS. We wanted to update you on two changes that impact day-to-day page editing.

Copying and pasting  

The golden rule still applies: Do not copy or paste from Word.

You do not have to click the clipboard icons with the T or W anymore. You can skip this step and paste directly into the Page Body area.

You can paste your copy directly into the editor now.

Clipboard icons

  • Paste as Plain Text – CTRL/CMD+SHIFT+V
    The browser handles removing all formatting natively.
  • Paste from Word/HTML – CTRL/CMD+V
    This will paste with the text formatting (bold text, bullets, links, etc.) still intact.

If you happen to click one of those icons, you may see the following message: “Press CTRL/CMD+V to paste. Make sure your cursor is where you want your new copy and use CTRL/CMD+V to paste it inside the editor.” This is a note to let users know they can paste directly into the editor.

Blue alert message

You’re saving a step by not having to paste inside a box and click OK. This is a note about the change from the developers of the tool: “Ideally we’d like the browser to just paste and that’s it – however, due the security reasons, modern browsers do not expose any means to paste other than using native ways …”[Source.]

Posting an image

When you post an image, 10 pixels of padding is added automatically.

You’ll still need to add the image URL from the file manager, width/height and alignment.

CK editor example

There also is a new field that allows you to add a caption or cutline below your image.

CK editor image example

To utilize the caption, check this box and click OK.

Captioned image check box
Add your copy inside the page editor.

Image example with caption

Image example with caption

If you have any questions about these changes, feel free to reach us at Remember we offer CMS training sessions on a regular basis if you think you need a refresher.


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 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


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 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 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, 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!