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Convergence Website Redesign Client Presentation. May 9, 2012 9 a.m. Capstone Team: Ashley Crockett, Nicole Garner and Thomas Koll. <presentation>. Project Summary. Creating a user-friendly, fluid website for the Convergence Journalism interest area Current site dated

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convergence website redesign client presentation

Convergence Website RedesignClient Presentation

May 9, 2012

9 a.m.

Capstone Team:

Ashley Crockett, Nicole Garner

and Thomas Koll


project summary
Project Summary
  • Creating a user-friendly, fluid website for the Convergence Journalism interest area
    • Current site dated
    • Difficult for faculty to update
    • Not meeting all student and faculty needs
  • Second semester of the project
    • Sorting through previous work to continue project
previous work
Previous Work
  • Online Survey
    • Sampled Convergence students regarding needs
    • 100% completion by 31 students
    • Poorly constructed questions
  • Faculty Interviews
    • Discussions with faculty members regarding needs
    • Information was not passed along to current team
  • Research into Content Management Systems (CMS)
    • Final report inconclusive, difficult to interpret
  • Team created a rough site we were able to expand from
client needs
Client Needs
  • Shaped how we addressed site redesign project as a whole
  • Less research, more construction
    • Short amount of time to complete site migration
    • Last team spent more time researching than building
  • Determine student, faculty needs early
    • Quick re-interviewing of faculty
    • Using our own opinions/experience as a student perspective
  • Explore CMS/platforms used by similar online entities
client needs1
Client Needs
  • One client, multiple audiences
    • Faculty site for class organization/reference
    • Students using site for class information, reference, help files
    • Prospective students looking for program information
    • Online audience yet to be exposed to website or who might have stumbled across the website
  • While only one client, we had to consider all of these audiences for site reorganization
initial planning and research
Initial Planning and Research
  • Project broken down into two segments:
    • Pre-site construction
      • Understanding, developing list of client needs through interviews
      • Exploring and researching similar websites
      • Determining a CMS
      • Migration of site content
    • Post-site construction
      • User Experience Testing (UX Testing)
      • Final site corrections and edits
      • Site publishing
researching comparable schools
Researching Comparable Schools
  • Spent time looking at other journalism schools and their websites
  • Main observations:
    • The design of the site
    • Site building technique (hand-coded or CMS?)
    • Need for a webmaster (can anyone without a web background update this?)
columbia journalism school
Columbia Journalism School
  • Javascript heavy
  • No apparent CMS
  • Would require a webmaster
  • Clean design
new york university journalism school
New York University Journalism School
  • HTML5
  • No apparent CMS
  • Would require a webmaster
  • Clean design but lacked flow
walter cronkite school of journalism asu
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism (ASU)
  • Specifically hand built by a team
  • Would require a webmaster
  • Generic design overloads the eyes with text
boston university college of communication
Boston University College of Communication
  • Used a Wordpress template
  • Does not necessarily require a webmaster; school does have a web master
  • Clean, catchy design
missouri school of journalism
Missouri School of Journalism
  • Uses a Wordpress template
  • Does not necessarily require a webmaster
  • Busy design distracts eyes
cms selection
CMS Selection
  • Wordpress as selected CMS
    • Current site ran off Wordpress, potentially making site migration easier
    • Familiar to faculty, staff and students
    • Easy to update and access
    • Would not require a webmaster or web design pro to maintain
site construction
Site Construction
  • Updates and plugins
    • Old site was five updates behind
    • Obtained needed plugins: video embedding, spam control, calendar, creating backup files
  • Major Changes
    • Changed the theme to “Colorway Pro”
    • One time cost of $45
    • Allowed us to access HTML/CSS for futher customization
    • Allowed a photo slider to display more content on front page
site construction1
Site Construction
  • Design
    • Kept with black and gold color scheme
    • Using pre-made “ColorwayPro”theme for pages
    • Created a less dated banner – Ashley created multiple banners before we settled on one we liked
  • Updated navigation
      • Created two main navigations on home page
      • Interior pages also hold navigation and “quick links”
user testing and feedback
User Testing and Feedback
  • Spent time researching user testing methods
  • Created own test consisting of six tasks
    • Required user to find their way to a particular portion of site
    • Required user to find a particular item
    • Allowed user to give us feedback on design or portions of the site that were not “naturally easy”
  • Goal was to target multiple kinds of users:
    • Students in a variety of Convergence courses
    • Non-journalism users
    • Faculty (less testing, more feedback)
user testing tasks
User Testing Tasks
  • Recorded information about each test taker
    • Age, journalism status, computer and Internet skills
    • Normal online activities, previous visits to Convergence site, computer/browser information
  • First glance feedback
    • Asked about the interpreted purpose of the site
    • Questioned first glance design appeal
  • Six tasks:
    • Locating contact information of a faculty member
    • Finding a specific student-produced story
    • Locating Frequently Asked Questions
    • Finding a student blog
    • Locating information about lab equipment and checkout procedures
    • Finding a specific assignment on a syllabus
problems encountered
Problems Encountered
  • Server connection
    • Had some issues with the server connection – often times slow
  • CMS control and customizing
    • Many fancier websites are built/maintained by private companies; those sites use fancier techniques that would require a webmaster
    • Had to keep much of site relatively simple and easy for future managers
  • Task team issues
    • After dividing up work and creating a scheduled work flow, we lost a group member and had to re-saddle the amount of work
final product
Final Product

Check out the upgraded, finished website

  • Calendar
    • We suggest having a TA, project managers or department administrative assistant regularly editing this
  • Student work
    • Project managers will be able to log in, add a new page and upload content
    • This system takes responsibility off faculty and gives project managers something to show for efforts
  • Course information
    • Faculty can easily edit syllabus and course information on one page – no longer a series of pages for each week of the semester
  • Enable Commenting
    • Too much spam—had to temporarily disable
    • Once Justin enables automatic updates, the spam plugin will work
project manager inclusion
Project Manager Inclusion
  • Simple as creating a blog post, also gives experience with SEO and web publishing
  • Project Manager logs in, creates new post
    • Adds content to post
    • Categorizes as student work
    • Creates tags, potentially an excerpt
    • Selects a featured image
    • Publishes!
questions comments let s discuss
Questions? Comments?Let’s discuss.


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