Exciting Things Ahead
A website is the number one piece of marketing for an institute of higher education, and we want ours to do just that: market Angelo State University. The Office of Communications and Marketing, in conjunction with Web Services, is working to bring you a new angelo.edu.
Regular redesigns are normal for all well maintained websites, including universities. Our main motivations for starting this process include:
- As per federal law and the Office of Civil Rights, we must have an ADA compliant website.
- We need to combine myfuture.angelo.edu and angelo.edu into one website. This will create a better user experience.
- We want to recruit more students, the backbone of the university. A spiffed up website will help us entice new students into choosing ASU.
- A new website will allow us to stay better connected to alumni and help fundraising endeavors for the university.
- As the website is our front door, it’s our opportunity to attract talented new faculty and staff to the Ram Family.
We Need Your Help
Building a new website is a team effort, and you are a part of that team. With your help, we can make a great new website. We have two forms we’d love for you to look at:
- New Website Quotes - With your help, we can make a great new website. We want everyone to help us fill the website with new testimonials. Fill out this form and then tell everyone about it so they can fill it out too.
- Required Accreditation Information - Administrators and faculty should fill this out if they have information that is required to be on the website beyond that required by SACS.
The Path Forward
A redesign for a university typically takes between one and two years. We think ours will take about 18 months. There are four major phases, each involving different campus partners.
We’re starting off with our Research and Discovery in December of 2018 and continuing through the spring. This is a long process, and we promise not to leave anyone out as we create a website that better markets Angelo State University.
Research and Discovery
Dec. 2018 - Spring 2019
Fall 2019 - Spring 2020
Research and Discovery
The research and discovery portion of our redesign will be conducted in partnership with a company called iFactory. They’re from Boston and they really know their stuff. They even make hyper-accessible websites for people who are blind and blind-deaf.
They’ll be talking to a sampling of almost 50 representatives from Angelo State for a campus-wide marketing integration. During these stakeholder sessions, iFactory will be asking us about what we do and don’t like about our website.
To supplement this qualitative research, they will be analyzing our Google Analytics to determine how people use the website. Combined with the results of the stakeholder sessions, iFactory will provide Angelo State with a recommendation report as we move forward with our redesign.
Other portions of our contract with iFactory include:
- Workflow and site management review
- Search engine optimization analysis (how do we make Google like us?)
- Sitemap and persona review (who uses our website and what do they use it for?)
- Accessibility audit of angelo.edu with a remediation report
During the design portion of the redesign Web Services and the Office of Communications and Marketing are going to have a ton of decisions to make. We’ll be using data to inform these decisions.
Ultimately, a better design will give us better information architecture. People use websites to find information, and we want to make it as easy as possible for them to find what they need to about Angelo State.
Folks, we’re going to need your help with this one. You are the experts about your content! We’ll need your help writing better content. Better content will be:
- ADA compliant
- Short and sweet (less words = better website)
- Branded so we can show everyone our Ram Pride
We’ll have to make some tough decisions when it comes to design and content, but remember, the goal is to have an amazing website.
When it comes time to launch we will have a brand new angelo.edu! In higher education, a good redesign will often bring about larger incoming freshman classes and increased donations. We’ll be better able to show off the Ram Family to San Angelo, Texas and the world!
But the work doesn’t stop when the launch is over. We’ll have to keep up with the workflow to maintain the site. Just because you remodel the kitchen and get a fancy new dishwasher doesn’t mean you don’t have to do the dishes anymore. Keeping the site clean and nice will require maintenance. We’ll help train you to keep everything in tip-top shape.