There are many pieces that go into creating and maintaining any part of the Bryn Mawr College website. The site is a publication that represents the campus to the outside world, as well as assisting members of the Bryn Mawr community with their work, studies, research, and other aspects of life on (or off) campus.
Staff, faculty members, and students provide and maintain content for the web, while the Communications office guides the overall look and feel of the website as a campus publication, and Web Services provides the technical expertise necessary to build and sustain the publication and support those who contribute to it.
The following elements are essential considerations for building and maintaining effective pages or pieces of web content (including interactive content, the use of social media, multimedia content, and so forth).
- Audience: Who is the audience for this page, and what are their needs? If there are multiple audiences, how can all needs be served effectively? For example, prospective students, current students, and faculty and staff may all view a departmental site in search of different kinds of content, and may have different interests in terms of how that content is presented.
- Message: What do you want to communicate to your audience? What do you want them to understand about your department or office, and about Bryn Mawr College as a whole? What is the most effective way to deliver your content?
- Content: What content do you need to communicate to your audience? How does it need to be communicated (e.g. what formats are needed? what are the technical requirements of those formats?) Also, do you have content that is sensitive and needs to be displayed securely, or that should be kept off the web in order to protect the personal information and privacy of members of the community?
- Information Architecture: How do you organize and display your content so that your audience can easily find and understand it?
- Design: What does your content look like, and how is it laid out? For pages using the Bryn Mawr College templates, much of this has been decided, but there are a number of layout and presentation choices. Also consider whether your design promotes ease of access for all users (including those with disabilities) and comprehension. Good design helps bring your content to your audience and communicate your desired message.