Studio Site Launch – Features & Goals

We’ve launched this dedicated website to better serve those who use the Language Media Center Studio. At this point, it’s a quiet launch and we’re not promoting the site yet. We’re waiting to respond to user feedback to determine how the site will take shape.

Benefits, Features, and Goals

Here are some benefits, features, and goals of the site:

  • Alumni and Emeritus Support. While the primary goal of the studio is to connect with and support existing graduate students and faculty, a secondary goal is to support those who alumni and emeritus faculty.
  • Announcements. News and announcements get posted to the site, and also are automatically posted to our Facebook Page and Twitter Feed. You can also subscribe to received posts by email (explained below).
  • Collaborative Projects. Making the site available to partners in other academic institutions helps foster a collaborative environment.
  • Community Managed. This site is managed by the user community, rather than a single webmaster. This allows for quick easy updates, and greater content creation capabilities since there are multiple authors.
  • Discussion. Questions and conversations can accompany posts to the site.
  • Flexible. There are hundreds of themes and many moveable intelligent widgets available with this site that can be implemented as needed. This kind of flexibility typically isn’t possible with larger enterprise website template solutions.
  • Focused. Because this entire website is focused on the multimedia development studio, you get a clean, uncluttered, and efficient user experience.
  • Independent. Although the studio facility is located at the University of Iowa, this website is independently maintained by the user community, so the content and opinions offered here do not represent the University of Iowa.
  • Mobilized. For ease of access, this site is mobilized and can be viewed on various devices.
  • Multi User. Enterprise sites typically have limited access by only one or two administrators, and are fairly locked down. Design and layout choices are limited. This site is hosted for free by WordPress.com, which makes it easy to include support staff, student workers, and members of our user community as editors.
  • Open Source. Innovations, workflows, and technology solutions are published to the web for others to use and benefit from.
  • Public Access and Engagement. Those who comment and contribute content need not be part of the Studio user community. The site can reach and engage with the public in a way that an insular site doesn’t.
  • Recruitment. Prospective students or employees are always interested to learn more about the community and opportunities available in any academic institution they are considering. The Studio website offers a look into one small part of what makes up the larger University of Iowa experience.
  • Service Projects. As a way of giving back to the community, studio users volunteer for service projects such as courses offered to the public.
  • Showcase. Our faculty and graduate students do excellent work. This site is a way to showcase their accomplishments.
  • Subscriptions. This site has an integrated subscription mailing list. When you sign-up on our contact page using the subscription form, you’ll be notified by email of posts to the site.
  • Third-Party. As a community managed website that utilizes various third party modules and features, the Studio website is a canvas for users to learn more about the online tools and services currently being used by organizations and businesses.
  • Training. The site will be used for training and demonstration purposes for those learning about CMS systems.
  • Transparent. Updates and news on this website help foster transparency regarding the operation of the studio.

Site Design

Those who are professionally involved in web design will immediately notice that this site isn’t responsive, and the layout is reminiscent of approaches to site design from a decade ago. In it’s current form, the site isn’t very fancy. It’s not responsive — although there’s a mobilized version of the site.

The initial intention was to put something online that’s accessible and functional. After we get the general content areas determined, we plan to switch to a theme like the Business Identity theme by Professional Themes or the Divi theme from Elegant Themes.

Below is a screen shot of the first draft of the site design. Click the image for a larger view.

20141119we-studiousers-website-design-first-draft

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