Davidson’s last site-wide redesign project was completed in January 2006. Since that time, the World Wide Web has experienced tremendous change with the the focus on Web standards, accessibility, use of video, social media, content sharing, and mobile devices. We are envisioning a comprehensive redesign project that will involve both the college’s public Web site and Inside Davidson (the college’s intranet). Given the scale of the redesign, the college will partner with an outside Web firm that has experience working in the higher education space.
We are estimating a 12-18 month project time frame with a launch sometime during the spring 2013 semester.
There are currently 19,000 pages in the college’s content management system. Many of these pages are outdated, infrequently accessed, or directed at an internal audience. Having such a large number of pages impacts search and the ability for users to easily find content on the site. Ideally we are looking to pare down the number of pages to somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 pages.
Why Redesign the College Web Site
- Age of our current site design and CMS implementation. The current CMS implementation is rigidly built with little flexibility
- Competitive marketing environment in higher education
- Link online efforts with the college’s offline strategic communication and marketing objectives
- The emergence of new Web technologies, including multimedia, social media and mobile are important factors
The new site will reflect the vitality and mission of Davidson College, provide an improved sense of place, express the college’s character and identity, incorporate best practices in technology, usability, and accessibility, and allow the college’s Web presence to grow with the institution. The target audiences for the public Web site redesign are prospective students and parents, alumni and friends. Inside Davidson will evolve to better support the information needs of the internal campus community — students, faculty and staff.
We are envisioning a project scope for the redesign of the public Web site and Inside Davidson that will include the following.
- New Web site strategy
- New information architecture (site-wide navigation) and new Web-optimized content
- Move internal content to Inside Davidson
- Homepage and interior page designs that comply with Web standards and accessibility guidelines
- More flexible CMS implementation with support for mobile, multimedia and social media
- Changes to CMS workflow, Web publishing and governance
- Group-based CMS training and added client support