Information Architecture

The University of Akron has begun a thorough evaluation of www.uakron.edu to ensure that, while maintaining a compelling and consistent identity, it effectively disseminates and collects pertinent information.

Partner firm

 The University of Akron is partnering with an outside web consulting firm, Dotmarketing, Inc., to undertake Phases 1 and 2. Dotmarketing is based in Miami, Florida, and specializes in web design, open-source application development, consulting services, managed hosting, and account management. The company, with a portfolio of more than 200 projects, was founded in 1996. Among Dotmarketing’s higher education clients are Bucknell University, the University of Miami, Princeton University, Gettysburg College, and Oberlin College

Three planned phases to the project:

  1. Discovery/research
  2. Strategy/recommendations
  3. Implementation

Phase one: discovery/research

Purpose

  • Evaluate the current University of Akron web presence and internet based needs.
  • How are we doing?
  • How can we do better?
  • With whom are we trying to communicate?
  • What do our visitors need?

 

Components

Research:

  • on-campus meetings
  • usability studies
  • focus groups
  • analysis of web statistics
  • analysis of hardware
  • analysis of software
  • workflow

Phase two: strategy/recommendations

Purpose

  • Build a web site that is powerful and engaging
  • Provide for easy updating and continued development
  • Reinforce a consistent institutional identity
  • Design best practices for accomplishing strategic goals
  • Incorporate information from phase one into strategic plan

 

Components

  • develop a web communications strategy
  • outline the information architecture
  • outline the interface requirements
  • define web functionality
  • design deployment strategy

 

Phase three: implementation

Purpose

  • incorporate strategies into designs
  • create new templates based on recommendations
  • rewrite and re-launch content
  • restructure site navigation and information

 

Components

  • create interface and graphic design assets
  • create transitional navigation systems
  • coordination and creation of content
  • quality assurance testing
  • train