Each year, thousands of developers, designers, content strategists, and industry leaders gather at DrupalCon to share their ideas and experiences using one of the world’s most popular open-source content management solutions. For the 2017 conference, two of our developers and several other members of our team had the opportunity to attend the conference in Baltimore.
What's new, what's next, what's best, and how it all fits in to a successful digital marketing strategy… Get inside our head with these helpful resources—from blog posts to best practices guides—written by our team of experts.
Recently, in a kickoff meeting for a higher education website project, the vice president of marketing announced that to get the website done on schedule, she was informing the president that the internal marketing team would cancel an issue of the alumni magazine and some other annual projects from their schedule.
“It’s the only way the site will get done. We need to free up resources,” she said.
I appreciated this straightforward, no-nonsense approach to resource planning for a website.
The American’s with Disabilities Act was first passed in 1990, at a time when the internet was still in its infancy and the bill was focused primarily on physical spaces. Over time, the bill has adapted to creating accessible spaces in the digital world as well — as have the penalties for failing to do so.
Congratulations! May 1 has passed. That means you have sent out acceptances and yielded your class. Well done. Months of hard work have brought you to this point — time to take a breath.
But then what? After all, the phenomenon of summer melt is real. Content holes still need to be filled. And how can we make sure we do an even better job next year? As we slide into summer, here are five action items to keep you rolling.
“How does our site compare to our peers?” This is one of the most common questions we get from our clients. To help answer it and to benchmark your site, we’ve compiled the analytics on a set of higher education websites to understand the current browsing behaviors. This data captures browsing behavior between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.
Real-world accessibility solutions have been commonplace for some time. Wheelchair accessible ramps outside of buildings, braille numbers on ATM keypads, and chirping audio cues at crosswalks are just a few accessibility features we often take for granted. How accessibility translates to the digital space, however, is a question that industries across the web are still struggling to answer. Particularly in higher education.
Last month, in response to a Justice Department accessability order, The University of California, Berkeley had two options:
Higher education institutions tend to define “non-traditional students” or “adult learners” as students over 25 who are returning to college to complete an undergraduate degree or undertake an undergraduate degree for the first time. Under this definition, approximately 38% of college students in the U.S.
When most people think of virtual reality, they conjure images of clunky headsets and an endless sea of wires and sensors. They may think of video games, and futuristic setups with users strapped into sophisticated rigs exploring complex digital environments. They almost certainly don’t think about higher education.
But as the technology progresses, it might be time to start questioning how higher education can benefit from virtual reality.
Last November, I presented at Confab Higher Ed on what higher ed can learn from new trends in email newsletters. Yes, you read that right: email newsletters, arguably the hottest digital platform today (sorry, Snapchat) and it was invented in 1972.
The concept of website personalization is a simple one.
To improve the overall experience of its users, a site utilizes information — such as geographical location, browsing history, and demographic data — to present unique content that’s specific to each individual’s needs. We’ve all experienced the power of personalization and an improved experience through Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook. These sites improve our digital experience – and draw us deeper into the product – by providing the most relevant content.
I started with OHO in November of 2015 and one of the first calendar invites I received was an invite to OHO’s Annual Volunteer Day. I was excited even though I didn’t really know anyone yet, but as it turns out this was probably the best possible introduction to both the folks at OHO and the company in general. Whether through Content, UX, or Development, OHO is the sort of place that takes pride in the impact of our work, and volunteering gives us a chance to get out of our heads and give back to our local community.
The New Typical Student: How Three Schools Are Courting Adult Learners and Winning the Enrollment Game
The American Marketing Association (AMA) Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education is an opportunity for marketing leaders to come together to discuss strategies and the direction of the higher education market.
User research is one of the pillars of our web design process, and I recently had the opportunity to join a focus group with ten prospective undergraduate students at the CASE Annual Conference for Publications Professionals in New Orleans.
While we didn’t organize the focus group, the format was similar to those we typically conduct. The high school students were provided print and digital admissions marketing materials, and they were asked to provide their feedback using the Think Aloud methodology.
With law schools across the country facing diminishing class sizes and enrollments, the pressure to recruit and retain students is increasing.
A higher ed website redesign project generally begins with what seems like a simple question.
“How much is this going to cost?”
The most common answer is as frustrating as it is vague.
“Well, that depends.”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right, it’s conference season. Higher ed web professionals across the country have their pick of stellar conferences to attend this fall (and we’ll be at most them, too — say hi!). Whether you’re a veteran of the conference scene or a newbie just dipping your toes, there is so much knowledge to gain and so many connections to make.
When it comes to redesigning a website, many clients believe the bulk of the hard part is behind them once the final code has been pushed to production. But the truth is, that’s when the real work begins.
At OHO, whenever possible we often extend our partnership and continue working with clients to help them tune their site in order to achieve their business goals long after a redesign. Below is a breakdown of some of our favorite free tools that track users, ensure server performance, and provide insight to improve overall server performance.
Over the past eight years, we’ve designed and developed dozens of large-scale college and university websites using Drupal 6 and Drupal 7. We’ve also been working with Drupal 8 since before its official release in November 2015. Drupal 8 represents a big step forward, and it is the future of the platform. It retains the best features of Drupal 7 and augments it with improvements in user experience, responsive design, performance, scalability, and extensibility. However, Drupal 7 brings continued strengths as a mature platform with access to a robust library of functionality.
We’ve built over 50 education websites using Drupal 6 and 7, so we were excited to dig into the latest version of Drupal that released in the fall of 2015. Drupal 8 brings some significant upgrades to the admin UI and underlying architecture, and it increases the core feature set.
Engaging higher education donor communities has never been more critical to an institution's long-term success, but it has also never been more challenging. With more than one million nonprofits across the United States asking for support and involvement, dozens of crowdsourced funding platforms that show the immediate impact of donations, and ballooning student debt that can decrease or postpone giving to alma maters, the giving landscape is crowded, pushing donors to make difficult choices about where their generosity is directed.