Frequently Asked Questions: New UCSC web site

A series of new UCSC web pages was launched on Thursday, August 26, as part of two projects that the campus's University Relations (UR) and Information Technology Services (ITS) divisions have overseen during the past year. The two projects involved:

  • The development of a suite of pages with a new "look and feel" and reorganized information architecture.
  • The implementation of a campuswide Web Content Management System (WCMS).

If you want to know more about how these two projects intersect, the goals of the effort, and how campus departments and units can participate, please see the links, below. We welcome your feedback, and we need the help and cooperation of our campus colleagues.

For starters, here are answers to some frequently asked questions about our approach and the time line.

What's it all about?

When can my site move into the Campus WCMS?

What can I expect when it's time to migrate?

Can I use the new templates to update the current site?

Where can I learn more about the Web Program?


What's it all about?

In October 2008, Chancellor Blumenthal charged the UR and ITS divisions with developing a program that "promotes [UCSC's] scholarly distinctions and programs effectively." The Web Program charge emphasized a campus web strategy: defining an updated and well-organized "look and feel," and creating easy to use, effective services that allow users to create and maintain their own content.

Since the Chancellor's charge in late 2008, campus teams have worked on a series of projects to improve the campus web presence.

  • In a process involving stakeholders across the campus, the Web Function & Design project gathered requirements and selected San Mateo design firm Rolling Orange to design the new campus look and feel.
  • Rolling Orange worked with key campus faculty, staff, and organizational groups to design the new templates for UCSC’s web presence.
  • The WCMS project spent 2009 collecting campus requirements, leading to the selection of the Hannon Hill Cascade Server content management system.
  • Beginning in winter 2010, the WCMS project implemented the Cascade Server application, creating the new Campus WCMS.
  • Phase 1 migrations (the campus home page, the Humanities Division and selected departments, and Porter College) went live in the new system in August 2010.
  • Additional projects designed and improved campus web services, began the development of new training offerings, and outlined policies to support the new environment.

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When can my site move into the Campus WCMS?

Our goal is to help as many sites as possible migrate into the new system as quickly as we can, but we need to set some expectations along the way. Some sites will need to wait, as we migrate those that are the highest priority for target audiences like prospective students and faculty.

The first two phases of migrations (through fall 2010) will move about fifteen separate sites into the Campus WCMS. The sites were selected by our governance structure, relying heavily on the primary goals of the Web Program.

During winter quarter 2011, we expect to shift from the project approach to ongoing operations. This means migrating multiple sites at any given time, as fast as we can reasonably go.

The Web Steering Committee will determine priorities for which sites migrate first. By winter 2011, we will be able to provide clear time lines and help you plan your migration based on these priorities. In the meantime, please:

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What can I expect when it's time to migrate?

Our service team will help you develop a roadmap to plan your migration to the Campus WCMS, but you should be aware that there is hard work ahead on your end. As we move to a more effective, unified web presence, we’ll need our partners to clean up and update their sites before migrating.

You will need to consider updating your site’s navigation, purging old content, and writing new content. We’ll provide tools to help with this process, but the majority of the work is on your end.

There are a few things you can do in advance, to prepare:

  • Begin a review of your site – what needs to be updated? What’s not needed anymore? What’s missing that needs to be there?

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Can I use the new templates to update my current site?

To ensure the consistency and integrity of the new designs, the Web Steering Committee has decided not to provide the new templates outside of the Campus WCMS at this time. The reason for this decision is to prevent the incremental variations that inevitably occur when adapting designs from one platform to the next.

In the future, our intention is to develop a terms of use agreement that allows sites outside the Campus WCMS to use the new designs. The agreement will set expectations for quality control and keeping the designs up to date. This work will become a priority once the first phases of migrations are complete.

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Where can I learn more about the Web Program?

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