What is it?

Our Site Express service is a content management system tailored to meet the needs of smaller, non-departmental, units in the UW College of Arts & Sciences.  It is a streamlined version of our Department Web Framework, which was developed after extensive research and planning, including conversations with stakeholders, online surveys, focus groups, usability tests, and web analytics.  We continue to make changes based on user feedback, technological evolution, and shifts in best practices.  Site Express sites are designed to serve the needs of both the people visiting the websites and the departmental staff responsible for managing the content.

Key features

  • Clear information architecture so that visitors find what they're looking for. 
  • Staff can update the sites through the web browser, without having to know HTML or use special software.
  • Each site's appearance is fully compatible with the UW’s brand guidelines.
  • Standardized content buckets, for example;
    • Directory with profiles
    • Embedded calendar using the UW’s Trumba calendaring system
    • Social media integration
    • Basic web forms for collecting information

Limitations

The Site Express service does not include some of the features available in the College’s Department Web Framework.  These include; connections to course listings via feed services, a Drupal calendar option, custom layouts and design, and custom taxonomies.  In order to make sure that Site Express will meet your needs, we will discuss these limitations with you before starting a project.

Ongoing support

Our service includes technical support after the site is launched.  We keep software up-to-date, fix bugs, train staff, and address security concerns.  Unit staff do not need to configure the site or maintain knowledge of technical standards. They can focus on providing and managing the content.  Our team also provides advice about content strategy and usability to ensure sites provide the best possible user experience.  Site editors are invited to quarterly meetings, hosted by our Department Web Framework team, for editors to share tips and strategies and provide feedback.

Build process

Each project will have a core committee consisting of representatives from the Arts & Sciences web team, and representatives of the unit. We will also include a marketing communications specialist from the College’s Marketing and Communications team at critical points during the build.  We will work with you to plan the new site, transfer your content, address any questions about organization or functionality that arise, choose a layout, and train your staff to update the new site.  The process normally takes two to three months. It will require meeting every other week during the build process.

Design

The Site Express service offers three fully branded layouts for your site.  We will work with you to choose the layout that best meets your needs and capabilities.  Please be aware that Site Express does not offer any custom built graphics or layout options.  The College’s marketing and communications specialists may be helpful in suggesting and locating photography that captures the spirt and direction of your unit.

The three layouts currently offered are:

Three layouts

Examples

 

How do I join?

The Site Express service is currently available to select units in the College of Arts & Sciences. Typically these units offer degrees, or other academic credentials, but are not a department.  Examples include; Diversity Studies, Integrated Social Sciences, and the Musical Theater program. It is not available to centers, research programs, and special projects. If your unit is interested in this service contact Shane Fricks (sfricks@uw.edu) to learn about joining Site Express.