First Year Academic Programs includes a variety of specially designed programs that contribute to student success by giving students opportunities to meet each other, build a community, or develop a cohort with colleagues having similar interests.
As the First Year Academic Programs morphed over time to meet the current needs of students, the website had not been able to keep up. The fast-paced changes of the course information in multiple places throughout the website made keeping the site accurate difficult. The manual process of updating content information in multiple places throughout the site also meant it was painstakingly slow and challenging to match the formatting over dozens of pages of content. The nature of providing multiple specialized programs having individual content authors - each with unique ways they wanted to display course information - was inconsistent and confusing for students.
First Year Academic Programs wanted to showcase each program, the courses and clusters that made up those unique programs and the vital information for each course so students could choose the program that worked for them. The client wanted a way to keep the content consistently displayed without individual formatting and wished to have a consistent look and feel throughout all the offered programs, especially in how courses were displayed. With upcoming staff and program changes, it was imperative that the new website would be easy to maintain over time, remain accurate with multiple updates, and remain as flexible as possible as program information and criteria changed often, and sometimes changes would occur during the active registration cycle.
WebTech spent time discussing the unique needs of each program and their audiences before grouping the commonalities between programs. We built four different content types to accommodate program differences (and possible changes to each program). Building in content types allowed us to retain similar structure and formatting with each program, yet be very easy for the content editor to create, edit and maintain over time. WebTech also built up a variety of complex views to display the content in different ways and in multiple places, yet maintaining precision accuracy as there was only one place where the information was added and stored.