USS web team: Creating functional, feature-rich websites

March 28, 2016

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What’s the purpose of a University-affiliated website? Is it primarily on online extension of a physical location, existing to attract would-be students and staff, or inform the public? Or is its central purpose communicating information to an internal audience? A little of everything?

Questions like these help the Content Management and Usability team within UIT’s University Support Services (USS) custom-build websites for various U organizations. 

USS started transitioning to OmniUpdate’s (OU) OU Campus content management system in 2011, a move that enabled the strategic retirement of older systems like Vignette and HumIS. The team currently manages 150 unique domain names, with three more in the works.

OU Campus, the choice of more than 700 college and universities worldwide, is both feature-rich and intuitive, enabling web editors to learn the system quickly and manage content on their own.

“We provide [web editors] with the tool, train them, help them understand basic web functionality, support them if they have any questions, and advise them on best practices,” said Content and Usability Manager Barb Iannucci. “Some people like to be in full control, and we allow them to do that.”

While OU webpages adhere to style guidelines and templates, Iannucci’s team has considerable latitude in terms of look, feel and function. Banner width and number of columns can vary by page. Icons and small illustrative elements may be used to help clarify complex processes. Data may be presented in a chart or graph, or forms added to capture user information.

Read the full article here.