Launch: Spring ’11 Website Launches
In April, we designed the Office of University Sustainability’s website.
This project was unlike our past projects because it started from scratch for a newly created office at FIU. We worked to establish the digital branding for the Go Green team along with FIU’s “Go Green” initiatives. The IA was relatively simple and the content was well presented from the start, making this one of the easier projects to build out navigation-wise.
The design is unique and was customized to meet the client’s requests. The “Did You Know” section generates a different eco-fact when the page is refreshed. Currently, we are developing a newsroom or archive of sorts to store past, present and future news articles that the homepage will feature. The launch of gogreen.fiu.edu was celebrated campus-wide, as it coincided with the launch of the actual Office of University Sustainability.
In May, we redesigned the website for the Office of Business Services (OBS).
This project was an interesting one because our entire external relations division was working with OBS on brochures, maps and logo designs at the same time our office was redoing their website. It was part of a complete re-branding of their services and office. Instead of using the vague title of “Office of Business Services,” the client chose to use their new URL “shop.fiu.edu” on all their marketing materials.
This project was an intense exercise in IA restructuring. There was a ton of content presented on the old site, but it wasn’t organized in a way that users could get to it without scrolling through PDFs or resorting to Google. Many people didn’t even know the site existed, so the re-branding was a must. The new website presents shop.fiu.edu as a comprehensive guide to all things retail at FIU. From restaurants to massages to the future FIU One Card, this site indexes virtually every service on campus.
Because we use the Hannon Hill Cascade Server CMS, our team was able to train both clients’ new content contributors in under 2 hours. A CMS-based webpage works a lot like a small puzzle. Our interaction designer, Fabian, develops the page structures in a very straightforward way, keeping the end-user in mind.
The CMS is an invaluable tool, as it allows our clients to maintain their own sites post-launch. They can access the server from any Web browser and make changes to each piece of their puzzle with little-to-no formal knowledge of HTML.
In the End
We lined up our design and development timeline so that the Go Green website would launch the same day as their official office launch – nothing like a little pressure to get the team on its toes! The site has been up a little over a month now, and everything is running smoothly.
The same goes for the shop.fiu.edu website, minus a few client-requested design changes here and there. And we are fortunate enough to have open-minded clients that appreciate the design advice and content suggestions we give them.
FIU Web Communications is a full service web team that provides support and consulting for departments at FIU. If you need help in implementing any of your web needs, please contact us.
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