2/27/14 Meeting

Web Advisory Council Meeting – 2/27/14

Attendees: Pam Lowery, Shelley Keith, Brynn Boyer, Jack Hylan, Curtiss Grymala, Amy Alexander, Martha Burtis, Anna Billingsley, Andrew Dolby, AJ Newell, Lou Martinette

Share what we like and dislike about the website:

  • AD: like the stories about students & alumni; search box works well; dislike the organization of the site (where to go for students, faculty, etc.)
  • JH: like the helpful links section (bar); need more clarify for students; problem navigating among various departments
  • AA: love the user generated content; dislike the lack of continuity across the websites
  • PL: like the personal stories; dislike the misspellings, plethora of content
  • MB: like that we are in place where have lots of opportunities; frustrated that we aren’t doing enough (confused by options, not enough user support); need to capitalize on UMW Blogs content
  • SK: we need better training for our 250+ content contributors

News & Updates from Digital Communications:

  • Several RFPs in progress (content strategy; governance tool); implementation for FY14-15
  • New Summer@UMW microsite will launch 2/27
  • Most of our in-state competitors have much larger web staff

External Development Projects:

  • UMW Philharmonic has requested an external developer to create a new website for them. Issues/concerns?
  • No precedent/policy for this. Pros/cons for allowing this to move forward.
  • This isn’t an isolated request. Athletics (www.umweagles.com) is an example of a site that has moved completely off-site.
  • MB suggested creating a governing document with guidelines & standards to which an external developer must adhere; perhaps have a developer on retainer?
  • AN brought up the five sub-brands of the university: athletics, theatre, philharmonic, conferencing, arts for the community
  • LM pointed out that there might be overlap w/ the visual identity standards committee in terms of decision making
  • SK: we want to involve them in the conversation. perhaps use it to inform future requests.

Outreach & Support:

  • Interns developed a draft self-evaluation tool (rubric) in order to review sites in a consistent and thorough manner. Will be part of a toolbox to help users think critically about their websites.
  • Asks about target audience, overall goals/purpose, design (visually appealing, well organized), functionality (no broken links! SEO), content (current/relevant/engaging)

ACTION ITEM: next meeting is Thursday, March 27 at 3 p.m.; location TBD; focused on training and support

ACTION ITEM: review the self-evaluation rubric and provide feedback, either in-person at the next meeting or by email