Hiring: Full-time Frontend Web developer/UI designer

The central Marketing and Communications Office is looking for an individual who is driven to create Web user experiences that bring the university brand to life and encourage action.

We are looking for someone with solid website design and UX experience. The individual will need to have enough HTML/CSS/JS experience to develop the frontend HTML through an existing build process and tooling.

Ability to blend technical expertise with a design aesthetic that embraces the university identity guidelines and explores new creative executions incorporating the university’s brand campaign. The ability to juggle multiple projects to meet project deadlines.
Ability to work collaboratively across disciplines — design, digital execution, editorial, marketing, to come up with new solutions.

Background

The Web Communications team is located in the central university Marketing Office. We are set up like an internal agency and work with most areas of campus to create and maintain their public web presence.

We are a cross-functional team consisting of Web Content Administrators, Designers, Frontend Developers, Backend Developers and Multimedia support.

The mission of the central Marketing Office is to raise the stature of the university.

Primary responsibilities

  • Experience collaborating throughout the entire project cycle, from research, strategy, information architecture, visual design, front-end development and maintenance.
  • A solid grasp of modern front-end web development, such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript and their associated build components.
  • Experience using a front-end web framework such as Foundation or Bootstrap.
  • An understanding of back-end web development environments, including HTTP, web servers, load balancers, the interpretation layer, databases and associated web frameworks.
  • Considerable skill in writing web applications that retrieve and update information in relational web-centric databases (using WordPress or Laravel).
  • The ability to clearly communicate to project stakeholders and process feedback internally and externally.
  • The ability to troubleshoot website layout and web application performance issues and resolve issues independently or direct issues to the responsible party.
  • Provide direct supervision to internal website interns and guidance to unit website content authors.
  • Ability to work with accuracy and attention to detail to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to understand and execute oral and written instructions, policies, and procedures.
  • Considerable project management skills, including the ability to provide time estimates and prepare accurate records and reports.
  • Proficiency in the use of web applications programming languages, tools, and/or methodologies for developing integrated web applications typically acquired through formal education or equivalent experience in web application development.
  • Demonstrated ability in analyzing customer requirements and developing basic information systems solutions typically acquired through one to two years of directly related experience in web application development and support.
  • The ability to translate functional requirements into cross-browser WCAG 2.0 compliant websites.
  • Strong understanding of web technologies and related user device capabilities required to access the web.
  • Understanding of test driven development.

How to apply

Apply at jobs.wayne.edu. Posting #043169

Student Service Center digital signage

No one likes waiting, especially when it’s for a uncertain amount of time. We can’t eliminate the lines completely, that of course is out of our control, but we can help change the perception of the wait.

Student Service Center

Last year the university launched the Student Service Center. It’s the one stop students can make for any admissions, financial aid, or registration information. At various times during the day and especially at certain times during the year it can get pretty busy.

The student experience

Students walk in to the Welcome Center and sign in at a computer and give a reason for their visit. That information goes in to Salesforce so the staff can see who is waiting and why. When a staff member becomes available they take ownership of the student’s request and call them up to the desk.

This has worked great and that process is not changing. But at certain times the service center can have multiple people waiting and although the average wait time is pretty low it can leave an uneasy feeling when someone sits with twenty other people who were there before them.

The power of data

We have the information about who’s waiting, how long they have been waiting and when they drop off the list. We just need to add one piece to make really useful. Luckily the CRM team on campus has an amazing developer, Adam Lincoln, who added a “Call” button to the user screen for the desk staff. This allows us to grab who is being called at any given time. Combine this data with a capable API from Salesforce + a large digital sign and boom! No more guessing for students.

No more guessing

Students can now see at a glance where they stand in line. We also calculate the average wait time which helps a student gauge what they are in store for. Lastly, the “now calling” screen helps students who may not be listing for their name and calls attention to the screen as it updates.

Feedback

So far so good.

Thanks to everyone

This was truly a collaborative effort between the Student Service Center, CRM team, C&IT, and Web Communications staff. Without everyone being involved and pushing to make the student experience better this simply would not have been possible.

Increased context on the site index

Something we have overlooked for a while is the site index on wayne.edu. We have been gathering sites and adding them to the list, but frankly it is something we don’t use on a daily basis. The list is used as a “suggested search” in the search box on the homepage. When we (internally) are looking for a website we just start typing in name and it quickly pulls it up and you have the ability to jump right to the site.

But others use the index

As we looked at our stats we realized just how many people use the site index. It is linked to from our global header and is the ninth visited page on our site.

Looking at the page and trying to use it a few times we realized it had some serious flaws. We had too many links on the page and there wasn’t enough context around them.

School of Medicine

The second largest set of sites were from the School of Medicine. The school is so large is basically has an entire copy of the main campus departments. This is what caused most of the confusion, two Admissions Office’s, Computing,  and Research departments to name a few.

Our solution

We decided to keep the full list but have the ability to filter to only the main campus or med campus sites. We also added “, School of Medicine” to the end of all the medicine sites. I have included an initial sketch of our idea on the right.

The site list does need some clean up and we are doing that slowly, it takes some time to go through the hundreds of links to determine which are no longer relevant.

One less feature going forward

The “Suggest a site” feature has hit the cutting room floor. It wasn’t hard for us to run a report and realize almost all the recent suggestions were spam. Almost all authoritative sites that have been added in the past year have been by us, only three have been from the campus community. It wasn’t worth the time to mark the spam to justify the feature.

Hopefully our users will find this new context and features useful. We are watching the stats and will be modifying the page even more based on how our visitors are using the page.  We hope you find this new layout just a little bit more useful if you do use it.

View the new site index at: http://wayne.edu/siteindex.php

Changes to the wayne.edu footer and impact area

This morning we made a change to the WSU Impact area and footer on wayne.edu. I wanted to write a quick post to explain the change.

The Problem

The WSU Impact area was designed for items that are longer standing than regular news, often lasting a few months and impact the institution as a whole. Over the past year we’ve added things to that area because there was no other spot on the homepage for them. The items we added are forever standing and will not change over time. We filled up the WSU Impact area quickly and it made the page feel unbalanced.

The Solution

We ended up adding a second row to the footer for these forever standing items that will always be connected to the university and need a presence on the homepage. They include WDET, URC and the voluntary system of accountability. This now gives us enough room to promote things that impact the university every few months that regain the goal for the WSU Impact area.

In addition, we added a link to the “Accessibility” section of our site. Although this area is mainly related to physical building accessibility we will be expanding it in the coming months to include web and digital accessibility issues and resources.

With this change in place the bottom half of the homepage is now evenly balanced and whitespace is evenly distributed. Over time we will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of these links and the WSU Impact area.