Chancellor's Web Standards Project
The Chancellor's Cabinet kicked off an initiative in August, 2010 to unify and improve UAA's web presence. You may have seen the memo emailed to the UAA community or the announcement in Green & Gold. The subsequent project is being conducted by staff from Advancement, Information Technology, and Disability Support (the WebPros team). This page is a clearing house of information about the initiative and project.
This is an estimated schedule of migration times. For full sub-department details please see the migration spreadsheet. Generally, early adopters happen in 2010, academic departments happen in Spring 2011, administrative departments happen during Summer 2011, and Institutes happen in Fall 2011. If you have suggestions or concerns, contact the WebPros.
WebPros are excited to present UAA's new theme, Denali View. Denali view is a 960px wide fixed layout with a simple color scheme that allows for pages to distinguish themselves. The left navigation is dynamic serving as a site map. UAA logo standards are incorporated. Searching is more specific. Use the thumbnails below to see full image previews.
Part of the Chancellor's inititiative is a way for departments to report on their web activities. WebPros are working with Cabinet, Deans, and Directors to identify an effective, agile, and sustainable method to use annual reporting as a means to continual improvement. Please send your suggestions to WebPros.
This inititative stems from a number of needs in the marketing, accessibility, and technology fields. The links below refer you to the source materials that help define the guiding standards for this initiative.
This is a list of answers to the most common questions. WebPros welcomes any discussion and ideas about UAA's web sites.
UAA is consolidating public websites for academic and business units to a more consistent institutional offering. This means sites that had addresses like http://somesite.uaa.alaska.edu are moving to addresses like www.uaa.alaska.edu/somesite . The sites that fall within www are maintained through “the CMS”, a content management system called CommonSpot.
Staff from WebPros will work one department at a time according to the published schedule to assist moving content into the new templates. Existing CMS sites just get a face lift and maybe some new imagery. Non-CMS sites move their existing content into a CMS site.
No. This is just a face lift and consolidation to UAA’s existing CMS software which is already heavily used and supported.
The Chancellor’s Cabinet supports this initiative to achieve the following goals
Migrations will likely start in November, 2010 with early adopters. WebPros will then visit departments according to the published schedule. Please be aware of and give feedback on your scheduled migration time. The migration should be complete by November, 2011. (top)
Please send your suggestions to WebPros.
Tier I & II departments have to move their main website into the CMS. Custom applications that require special consideration can use UAA hosting. Outsourced or very special websites require approval from Advancement.
The CMS is easier to use than ever since the release of version 5 and some major work done by IT Services in Jan, 2010. The CMS is different than traditional web publishing (FrontPage, DreamWeaver, etc.). Its advantage is that it is easier for lay people to maintain content. The disadvantage is that certain UAA constraints are enforced; like layouts, fonts, and other standards. Experienced web developers can get deeper level of technical access for more advanced design. Examples of deeper access are HTML access and backend access for custom coldfusion.
The new templates are designed by advancement, approved by the chancellor’s cabinet, and instrumented in the CMS by IT Services. The new templates use a fixed layout that is 960 pixels wide. The templates are designed to be visually simple allowing lots of design flexibility to departments. New left navigation exposes a whole site to a user from any page. Image headers make a bold statement to new visitors.
See the template previews online
UAA uses (and will likely continue to use) a fixed width layout to provide a more readable experience. Flow layouts tend to look vastly different on different monitor resolutions. It’s common in the web industry to design fixed layouts for the lowest common denominator monitor which was 800x600 pixels for our existing template and will be 1024x768 pixels in the new template. 1024x768 is a pretty standard size for laptops purchased in the last few years. So, the bad news is that you won’t get “full screen” flow layout in the CMS, but the good news is the new template will give you 200 more pixels of width to work with.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your scheduling suggestions.
No. Please note that the scope of this project does not include a redo of each website, only migration of content AS IS. Please see “Starting a Website” and “CMS Consultation Sessions” on the /webpublishing site if you would like to visit major changes to your content. The reporting and maintenance process will assure that your website improves continually rather than during an expensive “overhaul”
Contact email@example.com with your questions about deviating from this plan.
Existing CMS sites will keep the same web addresses. Sites moving from hosting to the CMS will have their old site redirected to their new home page. So, existing print materials will still be valid. All new print materials and publications should start to use the new website address http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/SomeSite. If you have more refined suggestions about how to redirect visitors to your new site we can explore that during the scheduled migration time.
IT Services provides 6 one hour blocks per week reserved for training or consultation. During that time we can work on anything in your CMS site that needs to be accomplished. Larger trainings and work sessions can be arranged, but are generally not as effective as one-on-one time.
The IT Services Call Center can answer questions about using the CMS to publish content. Most “how to” questions can be answered on the first call. See also “How can I get training or consultation on the CMS?”
Experienced web developers can be given deeper access to the CMS including; HTML editing, backend access for custom scripts, and even database access in special cases. Talk to the WebTeam about your needs. That said, you are constrained by marketing, technical, and accessibility standards. So you do not have the “clean room” freedom that you would have in an autonomous site.
Most custom applications (for example datasets about some research project or an internal reporting site) will not need to move into the CMS. The CMS is intended to be “brochure” or “business card” sites that should identify important information about your department, work, resources, contacts etc. Linking between your custom site is useful. Examples of hybrid sites include
The one column layout does not include the left navigation. So, one column layout pages give the user an inconsistent experience. Except for special cases approved by advancement, all WWW pages should use the two column layout with the navigation set to filter by their top level subsite.
The old three column layout was implemented with a switch in custom meta data. WebPros recommends the two column layout for all pages. BUT, You can achieve a three (or more) column layout using the layout table in the content area. This method is superior because you have ultimate control of the third column and it is less expensive to maintain.
Header maker is a web based application built by IT Services that makes it simple for authors to create stunning page headers with images and photos without having to use a program like photoshop.
A brochure or business card site is a site that gives an overview of your organization and the services it offers. A good example is the Information Technology site. It represents the IT department in a broad understandable way while leaving the technical details to knowledge base articles.
Here's a short list of things that might go in a business card site
Some examples of information that may not necessarily go on your brochure site (but should definitely be linked or integrated with your brochure site)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll review your question and record it here.
Web Standards Project