Office of Web Communications
Summary of options for obtaining a Web site
Web Communications can:
- assist very experienced Web authors with the templates or Web Guidelines
- create the graphics and template and give it to an experienced Web author to add the content and maintain the site long term
- create the graphics and template, add the content of the existing or new site and turn the site over to the area for long term maintenance
- create the graphics and template, add the content and maintain the content (provided by the area) long term
The obvious advantage to an area in creating and maintaining a site is the control over timing of creation and additions. The advantage to using the services of Web Communications is the level of skill of the graphic design and HTML coding.
Details about our assistance:
- General assistance
- Web Guidelines assistance
- University Templates
- Content Organization
- Content Updates
- User Testing
- Related University Offices
Creating a professional Web site has become more complex in the last few years with the increased use of CSS style sheets and the need to use XHTML. The Office of Web Communications can provide general information and guidance about the best practices of designing a site.
Web Guidelines Assistance
All sites representing the University of Northern Colorado must meet UNC Web Guidelines. Our office can assist with questions about using the guidelines or the reasons for the requirements.
The university brand was built into templates made available in October, 2006. Departments can choose a template color, images and options and either create the site or work with Web Communications to have the site created. These templates are strongly recommended for administrative areas. Academic colleges each use an individual, consistent look.
Web Communications and University Publications work together to make campus photography available for print and Web. You can view the gallery of photos on our campus images site . These images are sized to fit into the Web template and we have the original image for use in print publications.
We can also answer questions about the use of images, including optimization of digital camera images for the Web.
When redesigning a Web site, it is advisable to look at how the content is organized. This is called the information architecture of the site. This is less exciting than designing the graphics but is the foundation of a high quality site. Web Communications staff can guide that process, usually in collaboration with staff members who work closely with the students or users. The process has the following basic steps:
- Determine audience and goals
- Brainstorm on content audience is looking for and area wants them to know
- Chunk the content pieces into categories
- Create the navigation words and structure for the content
Content can also be maintained by Web Communications. In most cases, that applies to sites created or redesigned by our area since the HTML code of those sites is based on acceptable standards.
Web Communications employs the talents half-time of a skilled Web graphic designer. Although content truly is the key, an appealing design adds credibility and professionalism to the site. We can assist with choosing images for the templates or other design needs.
At this time, the university is reviewing the security of all online data collection and all forms are on hold. More information will be provided in the future.
The ultimate test of the usability of a Web site is how well it meets the needs of your users. These is a method to user testing and appropriate timing to conduct it and Web Communications can develop and conduct the test. The UNC area is usually responsible for finding and scheduling the users. We can also test pages on multiple browsers, the Mac and PC platforms and the screen reader for student with disabilities, JAWS.
Related services from other UNC offices
The mission of the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) is related to professional development of faculty and staff and the Center offers training on various topics, including Dreamweaver and Blackboard. They have up-to-date information on technology such as podcasts. CETL does not create Web sites.
Information technology (IT) maintains the Web server, including all logon and password information. If you are having logon problems, contact the Technical Support Center at 351-4537. IT also is the expertise behind more complex functions, such as the UNC admissions application, credit card payments and the Luminis portal pages.