June 30, 2022

Web Updates and Changes

The UMW Digital Communications team has been hard at work over the past year to bring the UMW website up to speed and to foster an effective and engaging web presence. Although a large number of the changes have been behind the scenes, several updates are immediately noticeable to users.

The new mobile responsive theme provides all of the tools currently available on the website in an easy-to-use format.

The new mobile responsive theme provides all of the tools currently available on the website in an easy-to-use format.

Most recently, the office unveiled a new mobile responsive interface for users nearly six months ahead of schedule. The change allows users on mobile devices to find information quickly and easily and to have a consistent web experience across platforms. The new mobile responsive theme provides all of the tools currently available on the website in an easier-to-use format.

The web team also made strategic updates to the homepage. After eight months of collecting user data and several anecdotal conversations with users across campus and the Web Advisory Council, the team removed the “helpful links” interface to bring the more useful “Online Tools” bar out into the open.

Now, icons to university-related web tools such as EagleNet and Banner are located across the top of each page of the website for easy access.

(Photo of the new toolbar)

The team will evaluate user behaviors on this new display to determine down the road if anything needs to be removed or replaced with something more valuable to users.

The web team also recently implemented a tool that will provide specific reports on spelling errors, broken links, accessibility issues, user behaviors, and search engine optimization opportunities to site managers across campus. The team has already started receiving basic reports, and will be working to configure, customize, and hone the tool over time.

Now, links to commonly used tools are easier to find on the homepage.

Now, links to commonly used tools are easier to find on the homepage.

All of the changes and updates are in line with the initial two-year plan for the web, and are part of an overall strategy to improve the user experience and empower content managers to create meaningful content.

If you have questions or feedback, please contact Shelley Keith, director of digital communications, and Curtiss Grymala, university webmaster, at webmaster@umw.edu.

UMW Microsite Wins CASE Awards

world readyThe UMW Digital Communications office was recently honored to receive three awards for the Admissions microsite, “World Ready,” from the Education Digital Marketing Awards and CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) District III.

The UMW entry in the Education Digital Marketing Awards competition (by the Higher Education Marketing Report) garnered both a Gold Award and a Bronze Award for the “Microsite” and “Admissions Website or Microsite,” categories respectively. These are national awards in a competition that “recognizes the best educational websites, digital content, electronic communications, mobile media and social media.”

The CASE District III award is a Special Merit Award in the category of “Electronic and Digital Media: Recruitment Website or Microsite.” The competition includes institutions in the southeastern states.

These awards represent a validation of the new, collaborative direction with the web and marketing at UMW. This project was the result of a successful team effort between Digital Communication, Marketing, the editorial staff, and Admissions.