University of West Florida Web pages are accessed by prospective students, current students, faculty, staff, alumni, visitors and researchers. These pages are often the first contact that these audiences have with the university. Others return again and again for information, research and entertainment.
There are more than 500,000 currently active Web pages at UWF. Since search engines make it simple for Web users to go directly to a page deep inside a site, it is critical for these users to have a clear indication that the page they are visiting is directly related to UWF. Consistency between university Web pages is essential.
Therefore, UWF strives to provide a common look and feel across most university-sponsored pages (personal Web sites are not in the scope of this effort). The “look” of a page applies to its visual nature, including graphics, colors, fonts and layouts. The “feel” applies to the organization of the page, including navigation, editing style and content. This goal is being achieved via a set of standard Web templates and documentation to assist the university’s Web developers.
In 2005, former UWF President John Cavanaugh provided the impetus for a review of the
existing Web site with an expressed desire for a more robust
Web Presence. Following this directive, Executive Vice President
Hal White asked the Associate Vice President of Marketing Communications
and Chief Information Officer to form a joint team comprised of representatives from Information
Technology Services and University Marketing Communications
to develop a plan to establish a common visual identity and
navigation system for UWF Web sites.
In the spring of 2005, the joint team from University Marketing Communications and Information Technology Services began work on the preliminary stages of the design and strategy for implementation of the new Web Presence. A representative from Admissions joined this team early in the process to provide insights on areas effecting recruitment. During the early summer of 2005, work progressed on a redesign of the university’s main pages. Internal feedback was solicited from various groups around the university during the fall of 2005.
In spring 2006, the Web Advisory Committee was chartered to provide advisory coordination for UWF’s Web presence; recommend and advise on the implementation of the UWF Web Presence policy; and provide advice to the president, executive vice president and associate vice presidents of Marketing Communications and Information Technology Services in guiding and supervising the activities of the UWF Web Team.
In fall 2006, the Web Advisory Committee recommended designs for uwf.edu and departmental Web page templates to the president and Extended Cabinet. President Cavanaugh and the Extended Cabinet approved the designs. A lauch date of Jan. 8, 2007 was set for uwf.edu, and the roll out of the templates was scheduled to follow the launch in late-January.
Throughout 2007 and spring 2008, university Web developers worked to convert their sites using the new Web templates and standards. By May 2008, more than 90 percent of the university's sites had been successfully converted and approved. The other 10 percent of sites would be completed by fall.
Beginning in fall 2008, the university will being a second redesign of its Web presence.
The next redesign of UWF's Web Presence Project will be implemented in three phases. In Phase I, campus Web developers will have several opportunities to voice their suggestions relating to the development of a new look and feel of the Web presence. Because the Web template structure is already in place, the new look and feel will be deployed with little work on the part of campus Web developers.
Phase I (Aug. 2008 to Sept. 2008)
Phase II (Oct. 2008 to Nov. 2008)
Phase III (Jan. 2009 to May 2009)