University Marketing & Communications

January 24, 2014

January Web Council recap


My Places landscape survey

Creative consultant Stephanie Krimmel ( and Caitlyn Clauson, Campus Planner at Mahlum, shared how they created the My Places interactive landscape survey for the Office of Planning & Budgeting. The tool was created to gather feedback for favorite spaces on campus and preferred routes using varying forms of transportation (including skateboarding routes!).

The map uses v.3 of the Google Maps API, ran on the servers and Stephanie and Caitlyn integrated the data collected with the Office of Planning & Budgeting’s existing GIS database. The survey interface used a click-to-click form of user-submitted feedback rather than drag and drop icons. Stephanie and Caitlyn found the icons used for this project particularly easy to use on tablet devices. The last collection of the survey data returned:

  • 1,930 participants
  • 37,150 icons placed and routes mapped
  • 7,980 comments (about routes and spaces)

You can still explore and use the survey, but the Office of Planning & Budgeting is no longer collecting results. If you have UW-specific questions about this project, you may contact Kristine Kenney.

Closed captioning vendor

Harry Hayward gave us an update on the UW-preferred vendor for video captioning services. View the PDF version of Harry’s slide deck, which includes major reasons why captioning video is important. The contract has been signed and inked and all campus units can set up an account with Automatic Sync Technologies (AST) right away.

The service currently costs $2.65 per a minute of video content. Turnaround time is estimated at three business days, but may be sooner for short videos. The UW is still in discussion with AST on “group discount” options, which is especially important for campus units that would like to caption entire lectures.

Harry will keep us updated when he has finalized details on pricing for AST’s services (i.e. if there is a discount option).

Mobile Minute

For this month’s Mobile Minute, Gina shared a 2012 versus 2013 comparison between mobile and desktop numbers to sites that the Web Team currently hosts on our WordPress system. Desktop numbers dropped slightly and mobile and tablet numbers jumped way up.

Modern front-end development

Dane gave us a crash course in modern front-end development techniques, with a focus on what I’ve dubbed the “Javascript system.” I am so not a developer, so forgive me for going light on this recap. In essence, Dane gave an overview of how jQuery, Backbone.js, less.js and Node.js are inter-connected and the roles each one plays for modern websites. (Notice how I avoided the word “dynamic” there?).