Content Preparation Guide - Information Services - DePauw University

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C
ONTENT
G
UIDE

T
HINKING
A
BOUT
C
ONTENT FOR
D
EPARTMENT
P
AGES AND
O
FFICES


As the University moves forward with the redesign and launch of the new website,
offices, programs and
departments will need to prepare their content and load it into the new system and
templates
. It is crucial
that department, office and program leadership think carefully about their content in preparation for this
transition.
Additionally,
representatives from each office, department and program will need to be trained
on the new conte
nt management system
.


This document outlines what you need to know about preparing content for the new website, training, the
timeline and addresses a range of other questions you are likely to have about this process.


C
ONTENTS


(1)

Outline of Goals and P
riorities for DePauw’s New Site


(2)

Description of the N
ew Content Management System


(Note: this is how web authors will make changes to their page
.
)


(3)

An Outline of Primary Content Buckets


(4)

Broad Guidance for Producing and Writing Content

(Note: Departments,
programs and offices must move their content into the new CMS prior to
December launch.)


(5)

An Example Page
and Information About Organizing Your Site Via the Sub
-
Navigation on Your
Page


(6)

Frequently Asked Questions


D
E
P
AUW

S
N
EW
W
EBSITE


In addition to pre
senting a new, fresh and engaging design to complement and reinforce the totality of
University communications efforts, DePauw’s new website seeks to accomplish a number of critical
goals:


(1)

Implement a universal navigation system throughout the site to en
hance usability for site visitors.

(2)

Implement a new content management system to streamline and simplify the steps and training
necessary to update and maintain our many websites. Within the content management system,
updates will be made within a web
-
base
d interface that will not demand user familiarity with
Dreamweaver or HTML.


These are
crucial
enhancements that will significantly improve our site, but

because we are changing
the manner in which content is maintained


these enhancements
also
require
that website owners move
their content into the new
CMS
.
The
act of physically importing the content will not be terribly
challenging,
but
the
process
of organizing and preparing content
may prove to be more difficult.


As preparation for this process, t
his document attempts to provide guidance for website owners as they
prepare their content. Also included in this document is a FAQ section, which attempts to answer a
number of questions commonly asked about the website redesign process.



A

C
ONTENT
M
A
NAGEMENT
S
YSTEM
,

T
EMPLATES AND
F
UNCTIONALITY


With the use of a content management system, DePauw has an opportunity to lower the “barrier to entry”
for web authors. No longer must authors be familiar with HTML or Dreamweaver, leaving them the
ability to
focus their energy on writing and producing the content they are interested in showcasing, rather
than worrying about the physical “building” of a website.


Templates have been created that will help guide the display of content to make page authoring si
mple,
yet attractive and friendly to the site visitor.


To account for specific
content
needs
of various offices and programs
, a number of flexible features have
been built into each of the templates to ensure that there are appropriate ways to present a
wide array of
content.


These features include the ability to present news,
highlights
about a program or department, callouts to
specific pages within a site, forms for RSVPs or data collection,
photo galleries, and basic text

among
others.



C
ONTEN
T
B
UCKETS


Though departments and offices will inevitably have some different needs, their content will generally
fall within a number of core “buckets.” With these buckets in mind, much of this content can be prepared
now, while the site is being built,
so that when the time comes it can be quickly imported into the
appropriate pages.


Introductory Text


Landing pages for academic programs, offices or departments should feature
introductory text to describe the programs, services or area of study. The
se descriptions should be
relatively brief (perhaps three paragraphs) and can be accompanied by photographs, or other visual
callouts to other sections of the site.


Multimedia and Photography


All sites within the new
system will present the opportunity
for authors to
employ or upload images and/or embed videos from Vimeo or YouTube. You may use your own photos,
or any that you find within the DePauw University Photo Database:
http://photos.depauw.edu
. Within the

database, you may search by album or by various tags.


Database Driven Content


For academic programs and departments that commonly draw upon database
driven content

s
pecifically course listings,
major and minor requirements
and faculty listings


th
is
content will automatically be pulled into your site and listed as a sub
-
navigation item on your page.
Additional questions about this sort of content can be discussed in your training session.


Department/Program Landing Page
Feature Content


Many
aut
hors

may
want to feature particular types
of stories or other sorts of content on their
landing page
. For example, the Philosophy Department might
want to include a feature about the Ethics Bowl Team. If this feature is desired, web authors
may want to

p
repare this content (a photo, a headline and accompanying text)
now.
Note: An example of this sort of
featured content is available in the accompanying page mock
-
up
document
.



Callout Items


Many websites feature “callouts,” a visual presentation desi
gned to highlight a particular
piece of content and direct a visitor to click on this feature and visit a different part of the site.
If authors
would like to use a callout (also outlined in the attached mock
-
up), they should identify the appropriate
ima
ge and text they wish to employ.


Plain Text Pages


Though images and other visual content can be added to all pages, there will
inevitably be a number of pages that may only include text and/or links to documents or other pages.
Having these pages writt
en (or documented) now will make for a more efficient content
-
upload.




P
RODUCING AND
W
RITING
C
ONTENT


Though the task of reviewing and compiling content in preparation for the new page is a challenging and
significant undertaking, it also presents a wort
hwhile opportunity to review and update content that may
have been static on our pages for months, or even years.


Additionally, as you write and compile your content, remember that shorter copy is often best. Our site
should not serve as a place to sto
re content for our use or convenience, but should be a place to display
content that is of use to our visitors.
E
XAMPLE
P
AGE
S



Attached to this document is a PDF example of a mocked
-
up biology department page
, one version that is
full featured with a l
arge amount of content and one that is more minimalist on the content front
.
Both
versions

draw upon
the content buckets outlined above and may prove
to be
a helpful reference for
visualizing how some of these features will display.


Also, please note t
hat users will have
some
flexibility regarding the
sub
-
navigation
on their page
, though
we strongly suggest that the sub
-
navigation not extend beyond 7
-
8 sections
. The list below outlines a list
of
potential
navigation items that could be added upon or su
btracted from as needed. The asterisks
indicate
subpage items
that
are

required and/or database driven:




Majors & Minors
Requirements
(database driven)
*




Featured/New Courses (could include Q&A)




Courses (
database driven
)*




Faculty* (
Derived from e
-
servic
es and directory, with future option for database driven biography
information
)



Clubs




Events




Photo Gallery




News




Video Content




Audio Content




Internships




Current Student Achievements/ Awards




Successful Alumni




Announcements




Blog




Research Tools




Lin
ks to Published Articles




Contact*


It should be noted that
the accompanying
example
s are intended to displa
y (roughly) the two extremes
on
the spectrum of department content
,
one example
with a large amount of landing page content and one
with a minimal a
mount.
Both employ the same sub
-
navigation structure, but this is obviously just one
example of a potential sub
-
navigation.

Ideally, each department would include a
small
number of photos
of department events etc and a departmental description. Addition
al content, callouts or features could be
added at a later date at the discretion of the department or program.





F
REQUENTLY
A
SKED
Q
UESTIONS


Why are we redesigning our website?


The redesign of the website is part of a larger effort to enhance the way
DePauw presents itself to the
world.
We expect the redesign of the website to more fully represent the totality of the DePauw
experience in way that does justice to our academic reputation, to the social and co
-
curricular experiences
provided to our stude
nts and to the sense of place on our campus.



This redesign seems much more involved than past redesigns. Why is that?


Whereas past redesigns of DePauw’s site have involved an adjustment to the existing template or a “face
-
lift” to the homepage, this r
edesign called for the complete re
-
architecturing of our site and the transition
to a content management system. These are necessary enhancements that will vastly enhance the final
product, but they do complicate the transition process.


When will the s
ite go public?


We expect to “launch” this site in mid
-
December. By such time, all pages and sub
-
pages must be
prepared and will become available to public visitors to
www.depauw.edu
. Though a precise launch date
has not been set, we will share it with all web
-
authors well in advance of the date.


Will my current site be accessible after the new site launches?


No.


At the time of launch, all content currently available on

www.depauw.edu

will cease to be publicly
available.

(Data from old web

pages will not be erased, but because these pages won't be publicly
available once the new site goes live, all important content should be moved to the new website before
t
he
December
launch
.)


I have a personal site
on the DePauw servers. D
o I need to change my site?


If you have a personal site at
www.acad.depauw.edu
you do not need
to change your site, as that server
will not be impacted by the main website redesign. If, however, you
maintain a personal site on
www.depauw.edu
, you will need to move your site to the
www.acad.depauw.edu

or some o
ther location.
Faculty members should contact FITS at
fits@depauw.edu
for assistance in moving their page.
 

Can I have a site that does not fit within the outlined templates?


Given the necessity and the benefits o
f a universal navigation system and CMS, all pages within the
DePauw.edu site must use one of the various templates that have been specifically designed for our site.


Can I change and modify the sub
-
navigation within the pages I control?


Of course.
A
s discussed earlier in this document
,
t
he changing demands of departments, programs and
offices will require a variety of pages and
sub
-
navigation. Authors will be able to adjust their sub
-
navigation, though we strongly encourage authors to limit their sub
-
navi
gation lists to a maximum of
seven or eight items.



Does my site need to be in final form before launch date?


All sites should be developed to the point where the author feels com
fortable making the site
publicly

available, but authors can certainly m
ake additional improvements and enhancements after the launch
date.