After more than 15 months of work and the input and efforts of countless faculty, staff, and students, Davidson College has launched an all new davidson.edu. It's the first major redesign of the college's public Web presence since 2006.
The new site features a clean, modern design that is easier to navigate, incorporates more images, and highlights video and social media much more effectively. In addition, the redesigned site represents a step forward in its utilization of responsive design, which allows for better viewing on tablets and mobile devices.
Work on the project was led by a core team from College Communications, Information Technology Services, College Relations, Admission & Financial Aid, and many other areas across the college. Additional input and guidance was provided by the project's Web Advisory Group, comprised of representatives from the faculty, student life, academic affairs, library, among others.
"The project was a significant effort for the college and included the review and evaluation of more than 19,000 webpages and paring that down to just under 4,000 pages at launch," says Doug Minor, director of digital communications. "The new site presents Davidson in a much more visual way and brings us in line with the latest Web standards and technology."
Davidson's online partner for the project was BarkleyREI, based in Pittsburgh, PA. BarkleyREI provided assistance with project discovery, strategy, design, development, and implementation.
As part of the redesign project Davidson also reviewed its approach to website management and governance, and the process has changed how the website will be supported and managed going forward.
"Early on in the redesign project it became very clear based on all the great input we received from faculty and staff, that we needed to think differently about how we managed, staffed, and supported the college's Web presence," Minor said. "Simply redesigning the website and implementing new features and functionality without substantial changes to how we manage and support it would leave us doomed to repeat the same lengthy redesign process again in the next three-to-five or more years."
A new shared digital governance structure has been put into place and additional staff hired to support the content needs for the website.
Later in August new group-based training will offered to faculty and staff interested in managing their webpages in the college's content management system (CMS). The previous website had more that 150 content contributors. Additional work on the redesign project will continue over the summer and fall.
To keep college constituents up to date on the progress of the redesign project, updates were posted on a regular basis to a Web redesign blog. For additional information about the redesign project visit http://blogs.davidson.edu/webredesign.