We are scheduled to launch the redesigned LR website August 3-5, 2021. In this post we provide a rough timeline for the redesign project, including the following phases: experience design, content development and migration, site development, training, site deployment and launch.
During September and October we worked to develop website user personas and the new website’s sitemap.
It’s important to understand what goals we are trying to achieve with persona and sitemap development during the user experience phase of the project.
- Develop an intuitive, user-driven architecture with clear navigational pathways for prospective students, current students, parents, and other important tertiary audiences.
- Ensure that all campus and graduate pathways are represented to support an engaging, efficient user journey.
BarkleyREI conducted remote discovery sessions with LR stakeholders August 11-28, 2020, to learn more about the university, analyze the existing LR web presence, understand the wants and needs of users and to uncover key insights that will inform the strategic direction for the redesigned website.
BarkleyREI met with more than 70 faculty, staff and students from across LR’s three campus locations: Hickory, Asheville and Columbia.
We’re excited to kick off the web redesign project with virtual discovery sessions with various university groups and departments/offices the weeks of August 10 and 17. BarkleyREI has been busy the last few weeks getting to know LR through provided publications, research, website analytics, brand messaging documents, etc. We are looking forward to having BarkleyREI meet and talk with groups across the university.
In this post we provide a tentative schedule for project discovery.
A robust and publicly accessible campus calendar builds community around events while publicizing the hundreds of events that are scheduled on campus each academic year—lectures, presentations, performances, music, theater, films, art showings, athletic games, among many other event types.
As detailed in our web redesign RFP, the current LR campus calendar does not meet the needs of the university. In this post, we explore some of the desired features and functionality we are looking to implement in the redesigned campus calendar.
After a lengthy review process, which included participation and input from a review group of faculty and staff from the Hickory, Asheville and Columbia campuses, Lenoir-Rhyne has selected BarkleyREI from Pittsburgh, Pa. for the redesign of LR.edu.
A big thank you to the faculty and staff who assisted in the review of vendor finalists. Your questions and perspective informed our review and selection process and we are grateful for your work.
Incredibly important to LR’s Digital Footprint, the university’s website is just one component of our digital strategy. The LR website serves as our information and transactional hub and as our most important marketing and communications vehicle.
A poor visitor experience can hurt websites in numerous ways, including turning away prospective students and donors because the website is difficult to use, doesn’t communicate our brand or isn’t set up with calls to action that request visitors’ information at the point when they are most interested in LR (aka conversions).
Another important component of a strong digital strategy is digital marketing and advertising.
Digital advertising is an effective strategy for increasing brand awareness of LR, our programs and our priorities. Instead of depending solely on prospective students finding us by visiting our website, we get our information in front of them on the websites and services they regularly visit or at the top of search results when they are looking for specific keywords.
One requirement for the web redesign project is to design and build a site that has an ultra-flexible design framework consisting of a large number of modules or components. Instead of thinking of our website as a number of page templates, we think of it as a series of parts, which when combined create a variety of page layouts and designs.
One of the objectives of the redesign project is to conduct a transparent process and include input and involvement from across the university, while also having a small enough group where we can continue to move the project forward.
I have asked a representative group of faculty and staff from LR’s Hickory, Asheville and Columbia campuses to assist Marketing and Communications with the review of submitted web redesign project proposals.
The review group will review submitted written proposals as well as participate in proposal presentations from vendor finalists over Zoom video conferencing.
The Web Redesign Request for Proposal (RFP) has been sent to nine vendors, all of whom have extensive experience working with higher education institutions as well as in other industry verticals, including healthcare, travel and tourism, nonprofits, governmental, among others.
We anticipate a 9-15 month project timeframe with site launch occurring during a semester break, either over the summer (May-early August or during January winter break).
A web redesign Request for Proposal (RFP) provides detailed information about the goals and objectives for our project. It’s a document that we can share with prospective vendors who we want to partner with on the redesign and redevelopment of our website.
To get to the next iteration of LR.edu, we will be starting from a blank slate—completely new design, new user experience and information architecture, new content strategy, new content written on brand, new content management system (CMS) for managing content, new technology and hosting platform, etc.
Included in this post is information about our project goals and requirements for the new website as is detailed in the RFP.
During fall 2019, we conducted an assessment of the current Lenoir-Rhyne website, which turned three years old in August 2019. In this post, we provide details on what we learned from our review and from conversations with faculty, staff, students and alumni.
The findings were presented to several campus groups and can be found in this Web Redesign Assessment PowerPoint Presentation.
The LR website is just one component of the university’s digital footprint. It serves as an important hub for university marketing and communications to our many audiences, including prospective and current students and parents, alumni, faculty and staff, donors and friends, the media and general public.
Our audiences learn about LR and transact with the university across our digital footprint. A consistent and positive representation of our brand is essential to our bottom line and in raising the university’s regional and national profile.
When we think about the redesign of LR.edu, we are not just referring to our website. All components of our digital footprint must work together to present a cohesive brand experience since any single component can be the basis for our audiences’ initial introduction, impressions and feelings toward the LR brand.