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Next Level Websites: June 15

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Building Up vs. Burning Down: Moving Toward Iterative Website Evolution

For many institutions, the website cycle plays out thusly:

1) redesign site

2) let time pass

3) notice site is outdated in multiple respects

4) repeat.

The feeling immediately after a redesign is great — things feel fresh, aligned, and functional — but what if you could bottle that feeling and stretch it out across the entire lifespan of your site? That's what taking a more incremental approach to managing your website entails — implementing a design system that can evolve and refresh over time, using data and institutional priorities to fine-tune strategy along the way, and keeping your teams' roles and skills nimble to align to shifting needs. By gradually evolving your site over time, rather than blowing it up every five or six years, you can create efficiencies around budgeting and resources while making sure your site is consistently aligned to the needs of your institution.

Jason Smith, Founder and Managing Director
Jason Smith, Managing Director & Founder, OHO Interactive

As Managing Director of OHO, Jason leads a talented team of designers, developers, and strategists to create award-winning digital marketing and strategy work. He's launched numerous websites for clients and offers a deeply insightful perspective into each business and industry with which he consults. Jason's depth of experience in marketing, user research, graphic design, and television advertising make him uniquely qualified to create successful marketing strategies that marry messaging with design, information architecture, and technology.

Headshot of Jordan Clayton, Director of UX & Design, OHO Interactive
Jordan Clayton, Director of UX & Design, OHO Interactive

Jordan oversees the UX & Design practice at OHO and has an extensive, international background in helping partners create interactive solutions in the form of web platforms, products, games, installations and more. His proudest achievements involve devising new interaction models, global activations and design practices while leading teams that bridge creativity, technology and human connection. Partners have ranged from small non-profit organizations to Fortune 500 companies. With over 50 industry awards under his belt, he still feels the best is yet to come! Outside of OHO, Jordan can be found kayaking, fishing or honing his BBQ skills.

Georgy Cohen headshot
Georgy Cohen, Director of Digital Strategy, OHO Interactive

Georgy Cohen has spent nearly 20 years wrangling digital content for universities, newspapers, and a host of other organizations. She is director of digital strategy at OHO Interactive, a full-service digital agency based in Boston, Massachusetts. Georgy previously worked at Tufts University and Suffolk University, in addition to running her own independent consultancy to higher education. She speaks frequently at industry conferences such as HighEdWeb, CASE, and ContentEd. Georgy's background is in journalism, including a three-year stint working in the fast-paced online newsroom of The Boston Globe.


Better Together: Our Journey Toward a Unified Brand and Website with our OPM

Amber will share strategies to avoid brand confusion, search engine cannibalization, and poor UX when partnering with an OPM.

Headshot of Amber Tolan, Director of Marketing & Communications, USC Rossier School of Education
Amber Tolan, Director of Marketing & Communications, USC Rossier School of Education

Amber Tolan is the Director of Marketing at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education where she leads student recruitment marketing for ten graduate programs and oversees marketing for an additional four programs. She is a strategic thinker with fourteen years of experience in marketing, design, writing, website development/governance and six years of experience in higher ed marketing. Amber hold a bachelor’s of science in business administration, public relations, a certificate in Art/Digital Media, Web Design, and a Master of Science in Marketing, Consumer Behavior. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and son.


Heroes of Higher Ed Lightning Talks


Open Your Content to Closed Captioning

Emily will share why you should include captions on all of your audiovisual content — and how her own experiences with the deaf and hard of hearing community led her to take action.

Headshot of Emily McIntyre, Digital Media Producer, St. John’s University
Emily McIntyre, Digital Media Producer, St. John’s University

Emily McIntyre is the Digital Media Producer for the Office of Marketing and Communications at St. John’s University. Her primary focus is building, maintaining, and managing web content and internal email messaging for the university’s various audiences. Prior to St. John’s, Emily was the Social Media Coordinator for the National Student Leadership Conference at Georgia Tech and the University of Washington. As a higher ed professional with a journalism background, she is passionate about placing human connection at the forefront of digital communication.


Custom Campus Illustrations Come Alive: Brand Activation through Front-End Animation

Last year Justin was the lead Front End Developer for the comprehensive website redesign project  St. Lawrence University and OHO Interactive partnered on. He worked with other members of our team to take the charge of showcasing just how beautiful their upstate New York campus is by using custom illustrations drawn by another OHO staffer and bringing them to life with animated Parallax in a smooth, accessible, and flexible way.

Headshot of Justin Medas, Manager, UI Development, OHO Interactive
Justin Medas, Manager, UI Development, OHO Interactive

Justin started his career as a graphic designer with a passion for user interaction and experience design. With a drive to better understand "what's possible", he started growing his knowledge in web technologies and quickly transitioned into UI/UX development focused roles spanning across 3 agencies. He uses his experiences in graphic design to help bring designs to life with micro interactions and animations, while staying focused on performance, accessibility, and modular development.

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