The web governance structure at Wheaton establishes the strategic, operational, and technical decision-making processes required to ensure an innovative, reliable, and effective website for the College.
The development and maintenance of the Wheaton College website is an extensive ongoing undertaking which reflects the continued importance of the web as a primary strategic asset. It is important that as a campus community we maintain wheaton.edu according to best practices and at the highest quality possible.
To that end, this document outlines the management and governance of the Wheaton web environment.
Nature of Web Governance
Web governance refers to people, policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines that govern the creation and maintenance of our official website. The governance structure exists to provide clarity regarding roles and responsibilities related to the maintenance and development of wheaton.edu.
Note: This is a working document and is subject to change to meet the evolving web needs of the College.
The primary objective of this document is to provide collaborative centralized governance for the ongoing development, deployment, delivery, and maintenance of Wheaton College online. We aim to achieve a look and voice for the official College web pages which consistently represents the Wheaton brand through standard processes, roles, responsibilities, and practices.
This objective will be pursued with the website’s underlying strategic priority in mind: to facilitate a user experience that encourages a long-term relationship with all visitors – but particularly students and prospective students – so that they can find the information they need quickly and easily. To that end, we will allow user testing and feedback to dictate the architecture of the site to intuitively meet the needs of users and results in a positive online experience whether in a mobile or desktop environment.
This charter applies to the entire Wheaton College community.
Web Guiding Principles
Wheaton will have a professional web presence.
This means our site will:
- Be up to date with current technology and trends, including mobile responsiveness.
- Follow consistent brand standards as outlined in the Brand Guidelines and other best practices documentation.
- As much as possible be free of typos, broken links, missing images or other technical deficiencies.
- Include copy written in a smart but winsome voice that appeals to prospective students without dumbing-down the prestigious academic brand of Wheaton College.
- Present content in web-friendly formats using short paragraphs, headlines, bulleted lists, keywords and other industry-standard best practices for web writing.
- Avoid redundant, outdated or incorrect content.
- Use only images which are optimized for the web.
- Use only video produced by campus approved video producers (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on who is considered approved)
Single, integrated site instead of a series of microsites
Wheaton.edu templates will be used consistently throughout all pages and sections of the site. No department or group will be considered “special” or be granted a site that lives outside the established brand standards. If you would like to petition for permission to create a site that stands outside the main site, you may submit a proposal to the Web Governance Board for consideration.
Strong focus on usability and user centered design
The information architecture of our site will be determined based on user testing and feedback, not the subjective opinions of any administrators, faculty or staff (including the web team). User testing will be integrated as an important aspect of ongoing development and improvement of the site.
Strong focus on analytics and measurement
We will maintain up-to-date analytics and measurement tools and consult them regularly to assess our success as related to our business goals and objectives. The web team will be certified every 18 months in Google Analytics, and we will partner with vendors who can help us stay abreast of using analytics wisely to guide decision-making.
Strong focus on collaboration with faculty and staff
The web team considers faculty and staff to be subject matter experts who bring unique and important knowledge to their web pages. As such, we will maintain a predominantly decentralized model for content creation and management and look for ways to partner with them in the creation and maintenance of high-quality content.
Strong focus on community ownership and responsibility for the web
A core responsibility of all academic departments and other groups on campus with a web presence is to uphold the integrity and quality of web content and communications to accomplish the overarching mission, work, and goals of the College. To accomplish this goal, each department or group shall clearly articulate those who are responsible for web content (monitoring, creating and editing) and partner with the web team to provide that person(s) with resources, training and access required to perform these duties. Please refer to Roles and Responsibilities for more detail.
Strong focus on accessibility
Wheaton.edu will be fully accessible as recommended by w3c.org in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with diverse abilities.
Strong focus on business value
Decisions made regarding functionality, content, usability and design of wheaton.edu will be undergirded by attention to the strategic priorities and business goals of the College. Out of these goals and strategies, key performance indicators will be developed and factored in to strategic planning for the site, which will be measured and tracked.
Strong reflection of Kingdom goals, values and priorities
In keeping with our motto, all planning, implementation and content on the website will clearly reflect our commitment to Christ and his Kingdom. Our motto, values, strategic priorities, commitments and mission will not be hidden but will be prominently visible to users and inform every aspect of the site from the content and message to design to usability.
Strong commitment to iterative design approach
Wheaton’s website will be designed with a modular approach so that it can be updated iteratively. This means we never consider the site “done,” but continuously work to tweak the design and functionality to meet technology changes and user expectations.