Preparing for Your Website's Transition - Natural Sciences

The first steps to prepare for transitioning your department’s website into the Department Web Framework are outlined below. They will be the focus of discussion at your initial meeting with our marketing and web specialists.

  1. Form a web committee.  Identify 3-5 faculty and staff who will meet regularly with the A&S web team and make decisions about the new website. We strongly encourage including a graduate student too to reflect the student perspective.

  2. Assign ownership of content. Decide who will be responsible for writing and managing content in the following areas. Different people can be "in charge" of different areas, and responsibility for areas can be shared.

    • News and announcements
    • Events
    • Faculty/staff/student profiles (users will have option to manage their own profiles)
    • Faculty/student research and publications
    • Course listings (most data will be pulled from the time schedule)
    • Other basic pages (program descriptions, mission, study abroad, resources, etc.)
  3. Evaluate your current content.  All pages on the new site will be organized into seven primary sections (1) People (2) Programs & Courses (3) Optional Strength (see below) (4) Research (5) News & Events (6) Resources (7) About.  Examine the pages on your current site and determine:

    • Are there any pages that need substantial revisions?
    • Are there any pages that don't need to carry over to the new site?
    • Are there any pages that don't seem to fit into the new organizational scheme?
    • Are there department-specific applications that can't be built within the new website framework?

    The third site section should be a major strength of your department.  Common choices are Study Abroad, Labs, Facilities, Outreach, or another key characteristic of your department. Our web specialists will work with you to determine the best label for this site section.

  4. Think about design.

    • Identify 3-5 words that capture the mood or message you want the site to convey.
    • Start thinking about what you'd like to see featured on the front page: recent news, upcoming events, faculty spotlight, featured research, image slideshow, summary of programs, or anything else. The front page design has some flexibility to showcase the programs and priorities unique to your department.
  5. Gather images.  Ideas include department events, lab facilities and classrooms, book covers and library holdings, study abroad excursions, or UW buildings.  You may wish to solicit photos from faculty and students.  Be sure that you obtain permission to reproduce materials on the website if they are protected by copyright.

  6. Gather media assets.  The Department Web Framework supports embedding videos hosted on YouTube or Vimeo and sound files hosted on SoundCloud.  If you plan to incorporate media, establish channels on these properties according to the best practices and guidelines recommended by the Arts & Sciences Marketing team.  Consult a team member or see the MarComm Toolkit for advice.