Category Archive for: ‘Strategy’

New Social Media Hub

The redesigned website will feature a new social media hub (aka social media mash up) located at The social media hub offers a single page view of Davidson’s institutional social media streams, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube, and provides an easy way for visitors to interact with the college and share social media content.

Previously prospective and current students, parents, alumni, and the campus community had to visit each social media site individually to interact with us. The new social media hub presents content all in one place and allows the college to present a more dynamic and engaging view of campus life and the great things that are happening at Davidson.

Davidson Social Media Hub

Like the rest of new Davidson website, utilizes a responsive design to adjust its layout for different device screen sizes. Here is a view of the site on an iPhone.

View of on iPhone

Featured Content Themes

During the discovery and strategy phases of the redesign project we identified a set of overarching content themes. Each of the top-level themes may be considered as a means to focus content throughout the site. The subpoints beneath each are simply examples of the types of articles/stories that can be included within each, and is not meant to be all-inclusive or to imply that these examples would not also fit within another category.

All themes include multiple types of content (news, events, spotlights), while focusing on a variety of people (primarily students, but also focusing on faculty, staff, alumni, coaches).

Tradition and Identity

  • Faith & Religion
  • Honor code
  • Facilities
  • Leadership


  • The Davidson Trust
  • First-generation students
  • Academics
  • Diversity
  • Study Abroad & Global Classroom

  • Student successes
  • Awards
  • Alumni accomplishments

Student Life

  • Facilities
  • Activities
  • Clubs / organizations

  • Division I athletics
  • Facilities

Web Strategy

Based on what we heard and learned during discovery, we worked with BarkleyREI to develop the following goals and supporting strategies for the redesign project.

Web Redesign Goals

  • Showcase the brand, identity, and mission of Davidson College
  • Implement a markedly improved Web presence and supporting technologies
  • Increase support of the college among key constituents

Key Strategies

Communicate Davidson Mission and Core Values
  • Develop core themes
    • create an overarching content framework. Examples: Unique Experiences, Innovation, Research, Civic Engagement
  • Establish and maintain consistency
    • Create a look and feel illustrative of the future of Davidson
    • Replace standalone, single-purpose microsites and templates with flexible, multi-use templates
    • Provide means for content expiration and review
    • Establish a workflow that promotes consistency
      • Technical
      • Design
      • Marketing/voice
  • Address misconceptions
    • Use the themes, in part, to overcome the most common misconceptions
Enliven the Davidson Experience
  • Spotlight experiences
    • Ensure that themes throughout the site directly and indirectly provide user with an accurate portrayal
    • Focus on student and graduate achievements, faculty engagement and athletics
    • Syndicate spotlights site-wide and position for each audience where needed
  • Reveal culture
    • Create an interactive environment that engages the prospective audience and engages them with the world of Davidson
    • Use news and events to support goals
    • Integrate social media to add authenticity and student perspective
  • Enhance content
    • Use videos and rich imagery site-wide to engage users
    • Leverage technology to bring users a step closer to a live-visit experience (Virtual Tour / Spotlight hybrid)
    • Create a centralized news, events, and social media hub and leverage content logically site-wide
    • Improve the “sticky-ness” of the site
Tailor to the Needs of Various Audiences
  • Architect for primary goals
    • Promote ease of use among all audiences
    • Group audience-related content together to simplify each audience’s experience
    • Use callouts and design cues to get these users to convert
    • Use interactive components to improve scannability of content (tabs, accordions, etc.)
  • Write per audience
    • Reassess copy for each main section
    • Themes and stories will be shared site-wide, but the tone and perspective will be different
    • Write appropriately for each audience
    • Marketing messages for prospective students
    • Professional tone for current students, alumni and faculty
  • Streamline internally
    • Define where current student information lives (Inside Davidson)
    • Develop a communication portal for students for marketing and communications
    • Improve the design and usability of Inside Davidson
  • Engage and simplify for alumni
    • Streamline the donation steps
    • Bring callouts to the top
    • Create content for alumni that encourages repeat visits
    • Welcome alumni as participants
Improve the Usability of the Site
  • Develop to current standards
    • Design for increased screen width
    • Ensure W3C and ADA compliance
    • Use organization features to simplify navigation
  • Cross-device experiences
    • Develop site to be compatible with tablets and mobile
    • Maintain consistent brand, message and content across devices
  • Simplify CMS interface
    • Documentation and support will help users make updates effectively and often
    • Modular features will allow more flexibility within the template set
    • Pre-planned features will permit a rich experience while enforcing a consistent brand message
    • Use APIs where available