Delay in cmich.edu redesign will not cost CMU more than contracted $550,000
The delay in the Central Michigan University website redesign will not cost the university more than its contracted $550,000, Vice President for Information Technology Roger Rehm said last week.
In a meeting with Central Michigan Life, Rehm said the CMU web team is actively involved in its preparation ahead of the upcoming April 9 relaunch. Blue Chip Consulting Group, an IT company based in Ohio, was tasked with redesigning the entire web presence. Initially tabbed for an August launch, the project was delayed after the number of pages needed to be migrated bloomed above 50,000.
“We are making sure all the technical pieces are working appropriately,” Rehm said. “We are making sure all the final pieces of content are put in place, and we are making sure that everyone is taking the time to update the content in their sites.”
One of the key aspects of relaunch will be Central Link, a new and improved version of the CMU Portal, where students will be able to access grades, Blackboard and email, among other options. Cmich.edu, while also on the same platform, will serve as the marketing arm for the university for potential students and the outside world. Rehm said the two sites will be distinctly different.
“Central Link will only be accessed by the CMU community,” he said. “We define (community) as someone who has a CMU global ID. Cmich.edu is the external site.”
A series of six videos produced by the team, released last week and this week, will help explain functionality of Central Link and cmich.edu.
Monica Mull, CMU’s associate director of Integrated Marketing, said a video set to be released this week will better illustrate the new search aspect.
“We have set up key words for certain user offices,” Mull said. “Similar to Google, you will have preferred search results that show up at the top to help indicate what we think is the best match for you. There (are) also going to be filters on the Central Link side, so you can filter your search once you get your initial results.”
If a user is looking for a web page or PDF, they will be able to search by type, she said.
Kole Taylor, technical writer for the Office of Information and Technology, said upcoming training sessions will be held for those who modify content and do the behind-the-scenes work of department web pages.
“It is similar (to) training that’s offered right now for people who manage their website at CMU,” Taylor said.
A video released Wednesday explained the differences between cmich.edu and Central Link. They will continue this week.
“All of these things are meant to introduce the main features of the site,” said Renee Walker, vice president of University Communications. “After we get feedback from the CMU community, we will be able to better address future content in regard of training and that sort of thing.”
Rehm said the new site is more efficient compared to the old web environment, where users would have to log in separately for Blackboard and email access.
“The huge difference is you log in once,” he said. “Once logged in, you get access to all the appropriate things you should have access to within that community.”
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