Working With SAMC
SiteFarm is the campus-approved web platform, and SAMC is here to help with building, developing and maintaining SiteFarm sites for the Division of Student Affairs. To address turnaround times for web-only projects, SAMC has developed a web update request form. We expect edits, troubleshooting and non-development requests to be addressed within 24-72 hours. Large scale projects like website redesigns, new websites or significant web restructuring will take much more time.
SAMC will provide assistance in maintenance of divisional websites
Now that we are more than two years into working with SiteFarm and have a better understanding of the scope of the platform, the division is modifying the process for management and maintenance of SiteFarm sites. These changes come from feedback from divisional clients as well as best practices from other campus divisions, colleges and departments. Our goal is to focus on reinforcing campus, divisional and department brands, maintaining a high level of accessibility, developing web strategies based on data and developing comprehensive management and maintenance plans for websites once they have launched.
In this model, SAMC will designate staff permissions and access to the site based on technical experience in working with websites. It will also help to determine SAMC’s level of service.
- Departments with technical, career staff
- Technical staff may be given an elevated role beyond user/editor.
- Technical staff will be required to take SiteFarm and accessibility training and show proficiency in those areas.
- Changes to layout, navigation, homepage and site structure must be reviewed by SAMC staff.
- Departments without technical, career staff
- Users will have a slightly more restricted role within SiteFarm.
- SAMC will work closely with departments to assess, build and deploy new sites.
- SAMC will work with clients to develop main page and landing page layouts—changes to these pages must go through SAMC to ensure consistency across the division.
- Users will be required to take online SiteFarm training and online accessibility training (through SiteImprove) before they are given access to the site.
- Once the site is launched, users are expected to edit and update their content on a regular basis, as needed.
- SAMC will work with departments when the following changes are needed for their website:
- Homepage modifications
- New pages
- New sections
- Menu changes
- Changes to blocks, content types and overall layout of pages
Colors, Images and Graphics
The current iteration of SiteFarm is still using the old campus colors and styling. The next iteration is scheduled for release in February, 2021. Please continue to use colors currently available in SiteFarm until this release. SAMC reserves the right to edit, alter, remove or update images and graphics on divisional sites if they are out of compliance with brand guidelines or accessibility standards, inappropriate or offensive or detracts from the overall user experience.
Cross-Promotion, Site Structure and Gen Z
Current students navigate websites differently than previous generations. When it comes to finding something on your website, Gen Z will search on Google or other search engines. Data shows that Gen Z will not navigate through your website. Instead, they go to Google, search a term, go to the result and then go back to Google if they didn’t find what they were looking for. With that in mind, there are specific strategies we can employ when we want to cross-promote departments, services or organizations.
- Place cross-promotion within the first paragraph or on your landing page, if possible.
- Use imagery, colors and a “family” brand to tie like services together.
- Highlight the main points in the top half of the page.
- Ensure that your content is easy to skim.
A website is a great mass communication tool that must be included as a component of your comprehensive communication plan. It is important to remember that it is a living document that requires maintenance. Even the most important information is not useful if it is:
- not relevant to your audience.
- not on the correct platform for your message/audience.
- not easy to find on your website.
- not easy to understand.
- not accessible.
- contradicted by other parts of the website.