Hot Topics!

This blog offers tips and tricks for our Saint Martin’s web assistants.

Undergraduate Program Page Redesign

July 2017 –  As we welcome students to campus for orientations, we have been working hard to update and publish redesigned Undergraduate program pages for each of the schools. In order to provide a clearer picture as to how users are interacting with the program pages, we have redesigned the content to allow our department to collect more data to provide meaningful analytics to serve students better and represent your programs accurately. Below is an example of a page with changes. Note: we have shifted to expandable sections for reasons two-fold; 1) It will allow us to utilize our analytics software (SiteImprove) to see how users are interacting with the content and 2) It is more mobile responsive (less scrolling, more succinct content).  We have also linked Mission and Outcomes where that information is available. Here is a sample view:


Next steps…

Our next step in the redesign process will be working with the individual schools to build content for the program pages that better reflects how those programs are unique and provide value at Saint Martin’s. We are aiming to work with the schools to ensure that messaging and content are accurate, correctly portraying and marketing to prospective and current students.

Timelines and Tools!

Greetings web team! Here’s a website redesign update just for you — our web assistants and content owners. And in the spirit of pith, it’s just the facts Ma’am.

Dug: Doggone! (We're) Unbelievably Good!

I think we should adopt Dug as our project mascot. He gets the job done and is always cheerful. We love Dug! (For us DUG = Doggone! (We’re) Unbelievably Good!)

We’re a breath away from the content migration phase of the website redesign project. YAY!

We’ve been moling away, prepping this and that and that and this. What does it mean for you? It means reviewing content and Drupal training. For the whole down-low on the low-down…or low-down on the down-low…or the low-down on the low-down…keep a-readin’!


  • June 1
    Next week (I can still say this because it’s Saturday, even though most of you won’t read this until Monday) several things will happen:

    • Content audit / mapping
      I’ll be sending each of you a spreadsheet of your current website pages along with where they’ll go in the new website* – this is for you and/or your content owners to determine if:
      1) stuff should be deleted, and/or
      2) stuff should be edited, and/or
      3) the mapping (from old to new) makes sense…which in all likelihood…it won’t. (Don’t worry, we’ll tawk.) 🙂
    • Generic Drupal training
      This is the tool we’ll be using to edit the website moving forward. Carl will send you an invitation early next week for training on a generic version of the tool towards the middle-end of next week.
    • New student workers
      Kristofer and Joseph join us next week on behalf of student affairs. If you’re in a student affairs office and wonder where to turn, these’ll be the guys to help! (We’ll have to figure out their dwarf names later.)
  • June 11 – Content Migration Kick-Off
    You’ll be receiving an invite for our kick-off meeting. This will consist of:
    1) a very short overview of Drupal (our new content management system) for those who were unable to attend either of the Introduction to the Introduction to Drupal presentations** and
    2) a 2-hour presentation-style training session with OHO. In this session they will be showing us how we will be entering information into our new website.
  • June 11 – 15 – Carl sets up user permissions within Drupal
    This will give us access to the areas of the website we’ll each be working on. (This will be a process, so you might not have access on the 15th.)
  • June 15 – Migration begins
  • June 15 – 30 – Drupal training
    We will schedule a number of Drupal trainings in June so that everyone can get the training they need!
  • July 15 – Last day for delivery of content edits
    This is to give us enough time to make the edits. (This is only for content owners/web assistants who won’t be updating/migrating their own content.)
  • August 7 – Migration ends
    This doesn’t mean we’ll never be able to edit anything again, just that at this point we have to stop the presses until OHO flips the switch and makes the site live. Which is scheduled for…
  • August 11 – SITE LAUNCH


Template, Wireframe and Design samples *In addition to the spreadsheet I’m sending with your content audit and mapping, use the templatesWireframesDesign.pdf to help see where and how your content will live. Send me an email if you want to discuss.
Introduction to the Introduction of Drupal **For those of you who were unable to attend the Introduction to the Introduction to Drupal, here’s that hedgehog presentation that I’m sure everyone was talking about!

Okey doke. That’s it for now. Be checking your email! And stayed tuned!

Improving our sight…er, site

Siteimprove web governance toolA while back I sent an email about this slick-as-all-get-out “web governance” tool — called Siteimprove — that the Saint Martin’s powers-that-be bestowed on the marketing and communications office, much like Glinda the Good Witch bestowed ruby slippers on Dorothy.

Now, your first question might be: What email?
Followed by: Web wha’?
Then: Aaaand what does it have to do with me?

In the spirit of short and sweet, here are my answers:

What email? Doesn’t matter. Forget this one.
Web wha’? Governance. Web governance.
Think of it this way: web governance is all the stuff we do to run the website and make sure it’s working well. From who works on the site (you, our glorious web assistants!), to how we get things done (workflow), what standards we adhere to (style and content guidelines), what our goals are (well, uh…goals) and the nuts of bolts of doing it correctly (no broken links, misspelled words, incorrect coding, accessibility issues, pages that aren’t being visited that we should get rid of, etc.). Hmm…maybe Wikipedia’s definition was better. Leaner anyway.

Slick-as-all-getout interface

Wow! That IS a slick-as-all-getout interface!

Aaaand what does it have to do with me?
You’ll be able to see where your site is broken so you can fix it. Cool, right? (Yes, I’m a geek.)

Through Siteimprove’s slick-as-all-get-out interface, we can see all the things on the website that might need a-fixin’ (say, broken links or misspellings) and clean ’em up. These fixes are important for a couple of reasons:

  1. Search engines, like Google, treat websites that are well-constructed and well-maintained much nicer than those that are not. Much nicer = higher placement in the search results. This is a good thing.
  2. A well-constructed, well-maintained website helps foster trust between us and our users. Just think about your own experiences. What happens to you when you go to a site and experience misspellings or broken links? Kinda yucky, right?

I’ve completed configuration of Siteimprove and next week, if you’re a primary web assistant, you’ll receive an email inviting you to complete your Siteimprove account setup. Once you do, you’ll:

  • Receive weekly status reports on the health of your website, seeing:
    • Broken links
    • Misspellings
    • (These are the big kahunas. Other things we’ll look at as time goes on.)
  • Be able to login to Siteimprove, see exactly what pages have problems and where the problems are on the .aspx page of your website. Once you’ve pinpointed the issue, you’ll fix it in SharePoint Designer, then send a publish request to Carl.

To help you learn how to use Siteimprove, I’ll be setting up a training. If you’d like to dive in on your own, please check out Siteimprove’s video tutorials or sign up for one of their weekly 30-minute training sessions.

Cheers team!


Saint Martin's vs. SMUI should be writing an introduction post to begin this new Hot Topics! marketing and communications blog, but in the spirit in which the blog is intended, i.e. down and dirty quick tips for you–our fabulous roster of web assistants–this is going to be short and sweet! So get ready for our first Hot Topic!

Saint Martin’s vs. the “SMU”

For branding purposes (and not to get confused with Southern Methodist University), spell out Saint Martin’s rather than using SMU. This is especially important for any external communications.

How’s that for short!