Davidson College Web Redesign Project
Update 6/18/14: The site has been recognized with several awards, including a 2014 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) international Circle of Excellence Bronze Award. Include below is an excerpt from the CASE judges report:
Davidson College’s new website is functional, consistent with their brand identity, responsive, accessible, and developed to current web standards-but that is not the main reason why it is an award-winning site.
Davidson College is winning an award for their efforts to increase efficiencies, consolidate content and implement an effective content and brand strategy for campus.
Their previous content management system encompassed nearly 19,000 pages and occasionally took 90 minutes to publish a page, primarily due to its rushed development in 2006. After a significant planning process, Davidson developed a content strategy that reduced its total website content to 3,500 pages which can be updated instantaneously. Although there are a large number of institutions who have these same capabilities, the judges all agreed that Davidson effectively planned and implemented a strategy and achieved impressive results.
It’s been a while since my last blog post. Needless to say it has been a very busy summer with work and I look forward to the arrival of students and the start of the new academic year.
Since February 2012, I’ve been managing a complete redesign of Davidson College’s Web presence. As part of this work I created a project blog where the campus community can follow our progress at blogs.davidson.edu/webredesign.
The project is a complete redo of Davidson’s Web presence from the homepage down to lower level pages. This includes:
- changes to site governance, workflow, client support, and training
- new information architecture and content strategy
- responsive design approach that accounts for views on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones
- compliance with Web standards and accessibility guidelines
- content syndication and a new taxonomy approach for news
- integration of social media on top-level and lower-level pages, including academic and administrative departments
- complete rewrite of all site content
There is of course a lot more we are tackling, but that covers the big stuff. We are now moving into the content phase for the project, which is by far the most challenging and even more work. The digital staff is really excited about the opportunities the new site will provide to us for conveying the Davidson brand to our target audiences.
More designs are posted on the project blog, including lower level, tablet, and mobile concepts. Blog posts also cover wireframes, information architecture and user experience, site strategy and content themes, and all that we learned during the project’s discovery phase.