In a change from the previous model, we are moving most sites as-is into Tridion. In order to expedite this migration from Collage to Tridion, we are hiring two part-time web maintainers and two part-time web technicians to provide centralized web maintenance services and assist in site migration.
Departments should continue to maintain sites in Collage until contacted by a member of web services with a “freeze date.” We estimate migration to take two to four weeks per site depending on the size and complexity of the site.
Training is being conducted by Web Services. Training of maintainers with sites already imported in Tridion will take place during the end of January. We are offering three small-group training sessions per week. Online registration should begin next week. An email will be sent to all site maintainers. We are also developing online materials including a knowledge base and how-to videos.
To improve the amount of regular website updates we are moving to a hybrid model. The majority of departments can still maintain their pages using the web content management system, but we are also are centralizing the maintenance of some of the more top-level or complex sites. Some departments that require more regular updates also have hired part-time employees to work with the Web Office to maintain their sites.
• Continue daily web task updates and maintenance
• Edit and design 4-6 evites per month
• Develop forms and other web applications as needed
• Update faculty bios for academic departments
• Performed bug fixing and re-testing
• Implemented usability enhancements
• Implemented Tridion SiteEdit (in-context editing) and workflow
• Developed training program and materials
• List of sites completed and in progress is below
Feedback and Improvements
Overall the feedback on the new design has been positive. We are waiting to make any significant design changes until we complete a usability study at the beginning of FY13 when a large portion of websites are in the new system. In the meantime we have simplified the fonts, feature navigation and animation features, streamlined the button design, and flipped secondary feature and placement of social media icons.
Search results show that the new navigation and design enable visitors to better find what they are seeking.
During the last three months of 2010 there were over 5000 searches on the keyword "Registrar" after the new web was launched there were only 48 in the same time period.
Usability Success: Search Term Results
Last 3 months of 2010
Last 3 months of 2011
“Registrar” – 5,121 searches
“Registrar” – 48 searches
“email” – 2,707 searches
“email” - 5 Searches
“iSiS” – 2,831 searches
“iSiS” – 13 searches
“Financial Aid” - 458 searches
“Financial Aid” – 3 searches
FY 12 Enhancements
• Eventbrite Agreement
The University has signed an agreement with EventBrite online event management system. With the software, users can build their own ecommerce registration forms, with university branding, promote and manage events and print tickets. We expect to have this ready for university-wide use in February/March.
• Mobile App/Web In Production
The University is finalizing the contract with a mobile web app provider.
The consultant who assisted in our initial Tridion build has been contracted for three additional projects:
• UML Today
Re-build, redesign and enhance daily newsletter application largely driven from external feeds, online form and dynamic www content
Build centralized e-Newsletter application (auto mailing or mail-on-demand a digest of stories and teasers from Tridion). Tie into Lyris for statistics if possible or what Tridion has available. In the interim, we are using Constant Contact with a University template for colleges that have or want to launch e-newsletters.
Import the UMass Lowell Online Catalog into the new web content management software. As part of the import, we will implement previously recommended usability improvements, have the ability to print to pdf, and automatically feed courses from the external ISIS file. Other improvements will be implemented where possible.
The Provost has indicated that a committee will be formed to address the organization of the online catalog and the format of a print version. Guidance from Academic Affairs on this process is essential. We will revisit after recommendations from the committee and reorganize where necessary.
About UMass Lowell
Academics landing page
Undergraduate landing page
Graduate landing page
Research landing page
b. Institutional Compliance
College landing pages
b. Health & Environment
c. Arts & Sciences
Explore pages (16)
Student Life landing page
Faculty/Staff landing page
a. Open House
Faculty Development Center
Center for Public Opinion
ASEE 2012 Conference
Institutional Research and Reporting
Dickens in Lowell Conference
Sites in Production:
- Residence Life - 1/12
- School of Health & Environment – 2/12
- Clinical Lab and Nutritional Sciences
- Community Health and Sustainability
- Health Management & Policy
- Physical Therapy
- Work Environment
- Information Technology - 3/12
b. HR Direct
c. EMPAC Financials
d. Document Imaging 4. CLASS – 3/12
- Registrar 3/12
- Commencement - 1/12
- Chancellor’s – 1/12
- Parent’s Program/Parent’s Orientation – 2/12
- Honors Program – 1/12
- Submillimeter Wave Lab – 1/12
- CPH-NEW – 1/12
- M2D2 – 2/12
Other sites are being scheduled for import beginning in March.
Gerry Nelson, web director, Gerry_Nelson@uml.edu, ext. 3227
Elaine Keough, web communications director, Elaine_Keough@uml.edu, ext. 3325
We’ve been contacted by web maintainers about a series of new issues using Collage, such as inability to upload pictures and documents as well as having to continuously log in. Please check the following settings to ensure that Collage is able to work properly.
NOTE: You cannot upload documents using Mozilla Firefox.
First do a system check in Collage by going to this url : http://collage.uml.edu/servlet/checks/check_classic.jsp.
Your browser and Java Virtual Machine (JVM ) can have some unsupported versions and Collage will still work fine.
For Internet Explorer 8:
1) Make sure it’s 32-bit (not 64-bit). Check this under the Help menu in your browser and clicking on About Internet Explorer. If it is 64-bit, it will specify. If it is 32-bit, it will not.
2) Check your java to make sure it is also 32-bit.Click on the start menu, type "cmd" into the search for programs and files box. A DOS prompt will come up. Type "java -version" and hit return. It will specify if it is 64-bit. If it does not specify, then it is 32-bit.
4) Add Collage to the list of trusted sites.To do this open Control Panel, select Internet Options, under Security tab select "trusted" and click on "sites" button. In this dialog box add http://collage.uml.edu and click "add."
5) Make sure you have following in your add-ons:
- Serena Collage PopupMenu Control
- Java™ Plug-in 2 SSV Helper
- XML DOM Document
To check if you have these add-ons, go to Control Panel, Internet Options, select the Programs tab and click on "Manage add-ons" button. This will bring up a list.
You will have these add-on if you allowed Collage to install these when you first tried to login into Collage. Make sure that when you first login into Collage you install the Nebserv API that it asks for and also allow msxlm4.0 to install. Sometime it will not install if you have not opened the IE as administrator in Windows 7.
If you have checked everything and Collage is still not working properly, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
1) Operating System and Platform
2) Browser and version and please specify 32 or 64-bit
3) Java version and please specify 32 or 64 -bit
4) Description of the problem
5) Screenshots of error messages, if applicable
6) Please send the screen shot of this page: http://collage.uml.edu/servlet/checks/check_classic.jsp
Since it was announced, the campus has been eagerly awaiting the roll-out of SDL Tridion, the new web content management system, as well as the website redesign. Web Services has been busy readying the technological infrastructure, finalizing the new design templates and preparing for the transition. Import of existing content is ongoing. The launch is planned for Summer 2011.
The Web team has been continuing to provide the campus with web and other electronic publications while simultaneously designing and implementing the new design. A sampling of projects includes:
Customized video player used to embed videos across the site
System wide video streaming solution
Access Services parking passes , authorization pages, citation payments and temporary Permits
Electronic version of NewsLine marketing publication
Over 200 campus web sites maintained; 447 internal users supported
Email campaign for Undergraduate Admissions
Forms and online donations for Advancement resulting in @$28k for forms and $87k for online donations in FY11
Mobile web application
Class notes contest submission
Tau Sigma and ODK forms online
Email login page
UML Today enhancements
NanoEHS website (blog feed, formatting), symposium registration
Athletics Tickets - new info/packages.
Upgraded AD authentication site-wide
Registrar - Course Lookup Enhancements- [zipcode and course title lookup]
Teacher appreciation application
R25 customization and programming
Hawki designs and custom RSS Feeds
Commencement eve forms
University Wiki management and LDAP sign on, request form
Student Symposium application
Facilities reporting tool, room features data entry
CRC Registration forms, online transactions, Rec Solutions setup
Community Showcase form
Visually the design will look very different and will incorporate the recommendations of a web consultant in conjunction with best practices and feedback from the campus community. Members of the web staff have been meeting with colleges and departments, to develop plans for new content and interactive features to enhance each site.
The web is one of the primary marketing tools for campus recruitment, with much of the focus on prospective students and families. Other audiences will continue to be served with their own landing pages accessed from the universal navigation.
New marketing messaging identified by research conducted by Maguire & Associates also will be incorporated into the design as part of a new branding campaign.
Changes included as part of the redesign:
• Flexible content areas with larger screen resolution to fit more content
• Increased video throughout the site
• Social media feeds pushed throughout the site
• Video enabled flash designs
• Streamlined navigation
• “Explore” landing pages for colleges
With nearly 50,000 pages and more than 200 websites, the implementation will be phased much like was done for Collage, the previous web content management system.
Phase 1 includes:
• Top level pages
• UML Today
• New landing pages for each college
• 18 new “explore” pages for academic disciplines
• Undergraduate Admissions
• Graduate Admissions
• Financial Aid
• Profiles of students, faculty, staff and alumni
Content will be reorganized, edited and imported into Tridion. Images will be selected. Video will be incorporated wherever possible. Web Services is working with the R25 implementation team to pull calendar information into the Tridion design.
After launching, a usability study will be conducted allowing any tweaks to the design to improve the user experience.
Timelines for future phases will go more quickly than this initial phase. Please continue to update your website in Collage until you are contacted by a member of the web content team. The import of your pages will go much faster if pages are accurate and well organized.
Phase 2: Academic departments and student services will begin over the summer
Phase 3: Administrative departments
Phase 4: Research centers and labs
Benefits of Tridion
After an extensive search of the top web content management systems available, the committee composed of faculty and staff chose SDL Tridion.
Some of the features Tridion offers include:
• In context editing or ability to make changes on a simulated live web page (What You See Is What You Get or WYSIWIG)
• Red lining or version side-by-side comparisons
• Task approval through email client
• Quicker deployment of changes
• Content dynamically generated
• Easily reuse content in multiple locations
• More flexible template design
Training will be conducted by the Web Services team. A knowledge database will be developed – similar to the CMS blog, but searchable. There will be introductory and advanced training sessions. The goal is to make the transition as easy and seamless as possible, while significantly improving the experience for the campus and our users.
Questions about the implementation for your department should be directed to Elaine_Keough@uml.edu.
Questions about the design and technical requirements should be directed to Gerard_Nelson@uml.edu.
If you are having trouble viewing the slideshow about, it is available for download, redesign-all.pps
Deleting Files In Collage
For some people it’s easy to end something and wave goodbye, while for others its as simple as 1, 2, 3. Boys II Men sang about it being hard to say goodbye to yesterday, while the Beatles sang “You Say Goodbye, While I Say Hello”.
That’s how I like to think about deleting files in Collage. You get to say ‘goodbye’ to files, pages, images etc. (whatever you want to delete) while the Web Content and Support teams say ‘hello’ to them. Even better yet – getting rid of something in Collage is a lot easier than getting rid of an unwanted stain or unwanted telemarketer.
You see deleting files is one thing not everyone can do in Collage. The upside – more work for us, less for you!
The thing to remember about deleting files in Collage is that there are 2 kinds of "deletes":
- Removing the pages/files etc. from the live website - which we call un-approving them. This means that the content will still be available to be edited or looked at inside Collage – but no one on the outside – looking at the live website will be able to see it.
- Deleting the files for good. This means we delete them out of Collage and have them removed form the server. Deleting the files from the server also helps to keep search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. from finding old pages with out of date and since deleted information on them.
So how do you get something deleted? That’s the easiest part.
Either send a task in Collage with the pages you want deleted in them – and make sure to specify which type of delete you want – un-approval or deleting for good.
The other option is to send an e-mail to email@example.com or to call the Web Content hot-line at 978-934-3875 and tell us which pages etc. you want deleted or un-approved – it also helps when you do this if you can send a link to the page on the live website – just copy and paste it into your e-mail.
Voila! That’s it. A couple of easy steps and you can wave goodbye to unwanted files in Collage.
The Search For SEO! Learn it in 30 seconds!
The good thing is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) isn’t that hard to find. You don’t have to be Indiana Jones on a search for the Lost Ark of the Covenant, or some other mystical prize, to find the secrets to SEO.
First of all what exactly is SEO? According to Wikipedia: Search Engine Optimization, or SEO is “the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results.” Another website defines SEO as: “the art of creating Web pages that will rank high in search engine returns."
Confused? Don’t be. The good news is Collage takes care of a lot of this for you in your pages Metadata, and we can teach you the rest. (Never heard of Metadata? – then read our blog entry: Where's Waldo? The Secrets of Search - Using Metadata.
This short and simple guide will teach you the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization in Collage in about 30 seconds or so – depending on how fast a reader you are. We’ll be borrowing some of the basics from Nicola Ziady and Ragan.com.
1. Find related keywords. Make a list of words relevant to your College’s, Department’s, Research Center’s etc. specialties. Choose words that will attract people and carry out your objectives.
You’ll type these into the Metadata - separated by commas. Think like a person searching for this page or your department. Type in any word that you might consider typing into a search engine to find your page or department. For example, you can type in several variations on even UMass Lowell, UMass-Lowell, University of Massachusetts Lowell, UML, etc. An easy way to do this is to keep a list in a text file on your desktop and you can just copy and paste most of the terms in when you work on a page.
2. Add the keywords to the page title. Your page title is the most important aspect of your website. Search engines evaluate your title to determine what is on a Web page. Add your keywords to the page title if possible.
This is the title in bold at the top of your page. You should also have them in your Browser Title (another field in the Collage Metadata) – this is what you want the top of the webpage to say on the live website.
4. Use the keywords in your page content. Try to fit your keywords organically into the text of your page to notify search engines that the content is actually relevant to the theme.
5. Monitor your results. Check Google and other search engines to test your rank and see if your SEO is working.
If you run into any problems please as always feel free to contact the Web Content team via our hot-line at 978-934-3875 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
That's it. You're done. Not so hard now is it? Not like say trying to out run a giant boulder...
You don’t have to work for the CIA or MI-6 to keep secrets and have passwords. Everyone from James Bond to James Taylor has passwords, including all of us right here at UMass Lowell. Those of course include your password for Collage.
When you took Collage training you should have been assigned a log-in and temporary password. You may or may not have changed that password. U.S. Astronomer, Clifford Stoll once gave this very sound advice “Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don’t let anybody else use it and get a new one every six months.” This blog entry will show you how to change your password.
- Log in to Collage using your username and current password.
The Collage log in page is on-line: http://collage.uml.edu/servlet/action/login.page
Please make sure to save/bookmark/make it a favorite for future use.
- Once you are logged in, click on Preferences in the menu to the top right.
- A pop-up window should open. Once it does click on User.
- This will give you the password change screen. Type in your old password followed by your new password and confirm the new password. Then hit apply.
- If you are successful you should see this screen saying your preferences have been updated.
- Hit ok, and then close the original pop-up window.
- Voila! Your password has been changed. It is also a good idea to log out and then log back in to Collage to make sure this work correctly.
- Please note the Collage Training Manual you should have received when you took the training also has these instructions listed on Chapter 1, Page 7. A pdf or word document of this manual is also available, if you’ve lost your copy. If you’d like one please e-mail email@example.com
9. If you’ve forgotten or lost your Collage username and or password these can be recovered and re-set. Just please contact the Web Content Team via our hot-line at 978-934-3875 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
10. One last reminder: please make your password something you can remember but also something that won’t be easy for others to figure out. There are no restrictions on length or characters etc.
Sometimes when you mark your task done and send it for approval it will be “rejected” for (whatever) various reasons and sent back to you. There are two ways to tell if your task has been rejected.
1. You’ll notice once you mark a task done the “State Name” changes from “edit” to “approve” on your Inbox and it will move from “Current Tasks and Notifications” to “Other Notifications”.
2. When a task is rejected it will appear back under “Current Tasks and Notifications” in your Collage inbox and will be back listed in “Edit” under “state name”.
Another thing to look for that is very important is what the message says under the task name when it is rejected – this will tell you - that (a.) it was rejected and (b.) why it was rejected – and what you need to fix before marking it done again and sending it back for approval. It’ll show who sent it back to you, as well.
You can also read these messages inside the task, and see that the task is in the “Edit” state.
It is important to read why the task was rejected and make the necessary changes before marking it done – that way your task isn’t rejected for a second time. In many cases the Web Content Team may just make changes and fixes to your pages rather than rejecting them, but in some cases they must be sent back to you. One way to avoid this is to make a Collage checklist of things to look for before marking your task done, outlined in this blog entry: Naughty or Nice - Making A Collage List and Checking It Twice.
If you don’t understand why your task was rejected, need further clarification or just need some help completing it as always we are here to help. You can contact the Web Content Team via e-mail: email@example.com or by calling our hot-line: 978-934-3875 and we’ll do our best to help you.
You can also check the CMS Blog for help doing certain jobs: http://blog.uml.edu/cms/
There’s a written archive of all of the entries if you’d rather look at them this way than by searching: http://blog.uml.edu/cms/archives.html
Any journey has to begin with a single step. Just as Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon began with “One small step…” so does your journey through Collage begin with the small step of selecting a template when you create a new task.
O.K. I know that sounds really cheesy, but it is true. Selecting a template when you create a new task is an often overlooked step in the process, and by not doing so it can leave you with a bunch of problems. Below you’ll see why selecting your department’s template is the first step in a “template for success” for using Collage.
1. Sign In to Collage.
2. Once you sign in you *should* be in your Inbox under Home. If not, click on the arrow and select Inbox.
3.Click on New to create a new task from your Inbox.
4. A New Task pop up window will open.
5. Select the Template for your department from the drop down menu. This is very important – selecting the wrong template or not selecting one at all can cause problems with your task – as you’re about to see.
5a. If you go past selecting a template you probably just hit next from this step of the creation of your new task.
6. You can type the first letter of your department to jump to that part of the alphabet, or use the arrow to scroll down through the entire list.
7. Make sure to name the task something specific about what you plan to edit or do in the task. Notice: the red exclamation point indicates that this is required and you can not continue without naming the task. Once you name the task the exclamation point will become a green check mark. Then add a description with more information about the edits, etc., you plan to make.
The more information you provide, the faster we can review and approve the content, and the faster it will go live. You can read more in the help us help you blog entry.
Once you’re done click next.
8. Finish creating the task. You can add or remove editors and pages (assets) by clicking on next and following the directions; or you can just finish the creation of the new task by clicking on “Finish.”
8a. If you need to add or remove users from the Edit or other states of the task – please review the removing or adding users blog entry.
8b. If you need help adding a new page (asset) to a task read the uploading a new document blog entry.
9. If you created the task correctly and selected a template this is what you should see inside your task. (Note: after completing creation of your new task – you still have to open it from inside your InBox by clicking on the task name.)
9a. Notice that there is a task template listed and the current state is listed as “Edit.”
10. If you forget to select a template you should see something like this:
10a. Notice that instead of a template name you see *** Select the Template for Your Department *** and that rather than being in the edit state this task is in “Request”.
11. If this is the case you need to discard (delete) the task. Help with discarding the task can be found in the discarding a task blog entry.
If you have trouble discarding the task please call us for help either by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Web Content Hot-line at 978-934-3875.
Also: if you are not listed on the template you selected, or you noticed there are people listed on it who no longer work in your department, – please alert us by e-mailing email@example.com or by calling the Web Content Hot-line at 978-934-3875.
In some Colleges, departments etc. there is a step in the Collage editing process called "Department Approve". This means that once an editor finishes making his or her edits and marks it done that it still needs department approval before coming to the web content team for final approval and publishing.
Note: this step is not in all templates in Collage. Some go straight from edit to approve with no department approval in between. If you need this step added or removed please contact the Web Content team at 978-934-3975 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Users from these steps can be removed when you create a task by following the directions in the Removing or Adding Users (Editors) In A New Task blog entry.
However if it is you that is the designated department approver – here’s how to check the task and either mark it approved or send it back for edits. Here is how:
- Sign Into Collage.
- Once you sign in you *should* be in your Inbox under Home. If not, click on the arrow and select Inbox.
3. In your inbox you should see a list of tasks that you either created and are editing or that need your approval. You can differentiate that by the “State Name.” Yours should say “Department Approve.”
4. To open a particular task just click on the highlighted blue task name.
5. This will take you inside a task.
Once you open it you should see something like this listed under Department Approve.
6. Once inside the task, click on the preview box and a window will pop up with what the edited page will look like “live.” Just check it over.
7. If everything looks fine and meets your approval then close the pop-up and mark the task done, along with a brief comment saying you approved it and hit o.k.
If it does not meet your approval skip ahead to step #10.
8. You can either click on the little arrow to the right of the task name and then select done from the drop down menu or click on the Done button in the top menu. (However, as you can see, the second option was “grayed out” for me – so you may have to mark it done the first way).
9. Once you mark it done it will transition from Department Approve to Approve.
10. If the task doesn’t meet your approval and needs further edits then you should reject it and send it back to the editor with what needs to be fixed and hit o.k. You can tell them what is wrong and needs to be fixed in the message window as you reject the task.
11. You do this in a similar fashion to marking it done – except you pick “reject” instead.
12. This will then transition the task back to edit, in which case the editor (in this example syuhas) would make the corrections and then mark it done and send it back to you for Department Approval, and this process would start all over again.
Creating A Photo Gallery For Your Website.
As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Whether those words and pictures are a masterpiece, like the "Mona Lisa" or "Starry Night" or something else, like Dogs Playing Poker"; this is very true no matter what collage, department or program they are for. Pictures can spruce up your website and help it stand out from the rest.
So you’ve got some great photos you want to add to your website – now what? That depends – on how many you have, and where you want them to go.
The University’s policy on photos can be found in the web policies section of our website, as well as in the Style Guide. We also have three detailed blog entries explaining everything you wanted to know about photos and Collage.
Please keep these points in mind:
- Adding pictures and graphics to your website is encouraged. Clip art, while good for blogs and other informal communications, is not allowed on web pages.
- Only three pictures are allowed per page (with some rare exceptions). This is because the more photos on a page, the longer it takes to load, and it has been determined that three photos is the optimal amount for a quick load.
- If you have more than three photos you’d like to include, an on-line gallery can be created. Please contact a member of the Web Content Team via e-mail or by phone at 978-934-3875 to set up a photo gallery.
- Photos can be hand-delivered on a CD, disk, flash drive, etc., to the Public Affairs Office in Cumnock C-7. You can also upload and send them to us via the Dropbox.
- Please include a Word document (or some sort of text file) with captions for as many images as possible. Also include information about the event the pictures are from (to be used for the title of the Photo Album), the date they were taken, and other pertinent information.
- Please also include a name and address for return on the photos after they are uploaded.
Once your photos are uploaded to the Gallery, the photo album can be linked to from your website. We have a blog entry on help creating a link if you need it.