Leading University Web Transformation
“With the assistance of DWS’ multi-skilled team, we have successfully overhauled our large and complex web environment by addressing the four key areas of people, process, technology and the user experience.”
University Web Manager
A leading Australian University engaged DWS to upgrade their web environment due to the high operational and strategic importance of the web in the higher education sector.
The goal was to position the university as having “Australia’s best university web site”. Working closely with the university team, DWS prepared an enterprise web strategy that addressed key elements including the introduction of a web information architecture, search engine optimisation methodology, technology refresh, content lifecycle, author collaboration model and governance.
Following a series of change events the project has transformed the web site to be audience centric, available on multiple devices and measurable against business goals.
A transition from project to operations has provided the university with the quality and governance processes for continual improvements to content and the distributed internal authoring community.
The Solution In-Depth
DWS and the university prepared a Business Case recommending a two-year project which delivered quick wins for early value and strategic components to deliver long-term sustainable benefits.
DWS led a process where the university reassessed their website against prioritised business goals and important audience tasks. The resultant information architecture considered all content and became the blue-print for the site transformation.
Search Engine Optimisation
DWS worked with the university to identify search terms the target audience were using and then applied Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques to improve the search rankings. This led to a more targeted Search Engine Marketing (SEM) investment.
Thought leadership and a vendor neutral assessment of prospective Content Management Systems was undertaken. The process included broad stakeholder involvement and buy-in to select the preferred CMS and associated technologies.
Development and Configuration
The implementation of the chosen CMS, Squiz Matrix, coincided with the release of new university branding. The branding was washed across the existing web pages and a seamless user experience was provided following technical integration with the university’s web applications.
A structured approach to preparing and maintaining sections of the web site was developed. This followed a review of business goals and audience tasks that considered user insights discovered through web analytics. The introduction of site-wide persistent navigation has reduced page clutter and allowed the web author to focus on content and the user experience.
High level release and detailed implementation plans were prepared with consideration for the timing of the audience impact and the availability of the distributed content authors.
Web quality processes, organisational structure and skill acquisition plans were put in place to enable a smooth transition from project to web operations.
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