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Web Update, January 2012


Migration Plan
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. 

Maintenance Model
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.

Current Progress
• 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
• e-Newsletters       
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.
• Catalog        
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.

Sites Completed:

  1. Home page
  2. About UMass Lowell
  3. Academics landing page
  4. Undergraduate landing page
  5. Graduate landing page
  6. Research landing page
    a. ORA
    b. Institutional Compliance
    c. CVIP
  7. College landing pages
    a. Engineering
    b. Health & Environment
    c. Arts & Sciences
    d. Management
    e. Education
  8. Explore pages (16)
  9. Student Life landing page
  10. Faculty/Staff landing page
  11. Press Room
  12. News Landing
  13. Undergraduate Admissions
    a. Open House 
  14. Graduate Admissions
  15. Financial Aid
  16. International Applicants
  17. International Programs
  18. ISSO
  19. Faculty Development Center
  20. Center for Public Opinion
  21. ASEE 2012 Conference
  22. Institutional Research and Reporting
  23. Learning Outcomes
  24. Academic Affairs
  25. Experiential Learning
  26. Dickens in Lowell Conference

Sites in Production:

  1. Residence Life - 1/12
  2. School of Health & Environment – 2/12
  3. Clinical Lab and Nutritional Sciences
  4. Community Health and Sustainability
  5. Health Management & Policy
  6. Nursing
  7. Physical Therapy
  8. Work Environment
  9. Information Technology - 3/12
    a. ISIS
    b. HR Direct
    c. EMPAC Financials
    d. Document Imaging 4. CLASS – 3/12
  10. Registrar 3/12
  11. Commencement - 1/12
  12. Chancellor’s – 1/12
  13. Parent’s Program/Parent’s Orientation – 2/12
  14. Honors Program – 1/12
  15. Submillimeter Wave Lab – 1/12
  16. CPH-NEW – 1/12
  17. M2D2 – 2/12

Other sites are being scheduled for import beginning in March.

Gerry Nelson, web director,, ext. 3227

Elaine Keough, web communications director,, ext. 3325


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.

Current Projects
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

Research database

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.  default-opt.jpgMembers 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

Phased Roll-out
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. 
  college-opt.jpgPhase 1 includes:
• Top level pages
• UML Today
• New landing pages for each college
• 18 new “explore” pages for academic disciplines
• News
• Research
• 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
Questions about the design and technical requirements should be directed to

If you are having trouble viewing the slideshow about, it is available for download,  redesign-all.pps 

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