University Marketing & Communications

June 19, 2014

June 2014 Web Council recap


Announcement: PDF accessibility

Terry Thompson will discuss how to make accessible PDFs at the June Accessible Web meeting. The session is Thursday, June 26 in Allen Auditorium. It is a “brown bag session” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. All are welcome.

UW brand refresh update

Alanya Cannon, director of brand management for University Marketing & Communications, gave us an overview of the UW brand refresh timeline and scope. She shared the brand pyramid (page 2 of her slides), which is the framework for all brand guidelines that will roll out over the summer. User testing and feedback of the proposed brand messaging and tag lines has been completed; final brand direction based on this feedback will soon be made.

She also let us know that the current brand colors and fonts will likely change, though these details are still being ironed out. A couple of key branding tools that will be available in July/August include the new photo database using SmugMug and the site (not yet live). In addition to updates to the current brand guidelines, the new brand site will include more video, social media and event tools.

Screenshot of a website with code snippets

Draft version of the UW Web components style guide that the Web Team will release over the summer.

Kilian then previewed a draft version of the Web components guidelines that the Web Team is creating. The Web Team’s plan is to let everyone directly point to CSS and JavaScript files that we centrally host so that sites can better follow the UW brand. We will also have a collection of what I call “grab-and-go” elements with code snippets that you can incorporate directly into your sites. We will continue to offer our hosted WordPress solution and make our WordPress theme updates available on the Web Team GitHub account.

And we’re not ignoring the Drupal community, either! The Web Team plans to work closely with a Drupal developer over the summer to make sure that our new brand is transferred over to a Drupal theme units can download similarly to our WordPress theme.

Michelangelo – Effortlessly query everything

Tim Crandley, program and operations manager in University Advancement, gave us a historic overview and live demo of Michelangelo. The tool was developed by members of UW Advancement and came out of a need to quickly and efficiently extract complex data without a time-intensive process of requesting information from their IT team. The name of the tool came from the idea of how Michelangelo the artist would start with a slab of granite and chisel away the unnecessary materials until he created his finished sculptures. Tim demoed how the tool operates in a similar fashion.

The database tool uses an in-memory database, which allows users to extract their data quicker than traditional methods. It also handles multiple data sets and has intuitive user filter types including bar, search, composite, map and publication. Tim walked us through all filter types, including how the map filter was integrated into Bing Maps and how the Advancement team could use data from Columns magazine to help with their donor communications.

The tool is cloud based and runs from Microsoft Azure. Data is also very secure thanks to encryption and the Michelangelo team’s “siloing” approach. In essence, data from different organizations is siloed so that one group cannot accidentally access another group’s data.

Mobile Minute

For this month’s Mobile Minute, Gina shared a comparison of desktop, mobile and tablet session traffic to Marketing-hosted websites. The trend for increased mobile and tablet traffic continues and Apple devices (iPhone, iPad and even iPod) still reign supreme. But other mobile devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy S III Lite and HTC M7 One are starting to creep into mobile metrics.