Web Strategy Meeting 06.14.12

MIIS Homepage News – New “Request Info” & “Apply Now” Buttons

How the Website Works – Third Party Code

  • Our Drupal CMS does not support embed codes from third party services for security reasons
  • Instead the Drupal community builds integrations with third party services through modules that our programmers at Middlebury review and adapt to our needs
  • All code changes and additions, whether they’re worked on by myself or our Middlebury programmers, are subject to review by at least one other programmer

Updated Web Request Queue – From Rebecca

  1. Admissions buttons for the MIIS homepage (May)
  2. Updates to our Video Overlay (May)
  3. Additional features added to several departmental blogs (May)
  4. Conditional Questions on Webforms (July)
  5. Background image for the Center for the Blue Economy homepage (July)
  6. Upgrades to the Frontier Market Scouts/Executive Education/Center for Blue Economy template (July/early August): 1) Move to three column format 2) Implement rotating banner
  7. Integrate analytics from MIIS website with our online application (July/August)

Admissions Section – Rebecca’s Top 5 Quick Wins

  1. Add new photos and captions throughout the section
  2. Add H2 sub-headings to webpages that currently have none
  3. Re-prioritize the content of the “Contact Us” webpage
  4. Move the “Request Info” and “Visit MIIS” webforms higher up in the navigation
  5. Utilize the Subpage List content type for the “Admissions Requirements” sub-pages to highlight the links within the text

Next Meeting: July 12th at 11am

Topics of discussion will include webforms, but please let me know if you would like to add anything else to the agenda!


Web Strategy Meeting 05.17.12

Drupal Work Sessions Every Thursday (with Rebecca) & Friday (with Eric) from 2-4pm

Next Meeting Thursday, June 14 at 11am

Come prepared to discuss how we can improve the Admissions section of the MIIS website

Web & Video Request Forms

Web Request Queue – From Rebecca

  1. Admissions buttons for the MIIS homepage (May)
  2. Updates to our Video Overlay (May)
  3. Additional features added to several departmental blogs (May)
  4. Upgrades to the Frontier Market Scouts template (June/July)
  5. Background image for the Center for the Blue Economy homepage (June/July)
  6. New header images for the Academics section (June/July)
  7. Customized Story Maps (by various tags) (August)

Video Request Queue – From Eric

  1. ESL 40 years (June)
  2. IEP Professors (May)
  3. Commencement 2012 (May)
  4. Flash Mob Graduation (June)
  5. Alumni Award winners (June)
  6. Green Challenge (June)
  7. FMS Video (July)
  8. Giving Alums/Coopers (June)
  9. MPA Promo (August)
  10. Local Catch/IEP Alums (July)
  11. TESOL Portfolios (August)
  12. Student Services (Sept.)
  13. Security (Aug/Sept)

Web Writing Queue – From Shanna

  1. Make-over to “International Policy Studies” landing page
  2. Make-over to the “International Environmental Policy” landing page
  3. “Firelight Foundation” section
  4. Make-over to “Language Programs” landing page
  5. Creating guidelines for faculty profiles
  6. Quick Social Media Guide
  7. Offices & Services Redesign Section
  8. Redesign MPA Section

Current Web Team Projects

  • SEO Project for Graduate Programs
  • Improving YouTube Channel Organization
  • Updating iTunesU (Summer)
  • Create Google Analytics Reports for Each Program
  • Continued Improvements to the Mobile Website
  • Collect stories for the IEP Program

Finance Administration Website: Focus Group


Question 1: What information would you most like to see on a webpage apart from policies, services provided, forms, contact information, FAQ’s, etc.

Human Resources:

Facilities –campus buildings, grounds and surroundings:

Office Services- provides services of mailing, printing, faxing, laminating:

Student Accounts- manages student fee assessment, billing & collections, and payments:

Business Office – Accounts Payable, Purchasing, and other business related functions:

Question 2:
How would you recommend the information be organized? Which information would be best placed on the landing page vs. the subpages?


Question 3: What experiences can you share from the website you created at MIIS or from another website you created? What are some features you have found useful? For example, have you found it is easier to navigate through information if tabs are located on the right or left side of the screen?

Web Strategy Meeting 05.03.12

Blue Titlecard has Changed!

We’ll never have to look at green on blue text again! Please double check your sections over the next couple of weeks, adding photos to the top right corner if they’re currently missing.

Web & Video Request Forms

Web Request Queue – From Rebecca

  1. Admissions buttons for the MIIS homepage (May)
  2. Updates to our Video Overlay (May)
  3. Upgrades to the Frontier Market Scouts template (May/June)
  4. Background image for the Center for the Blue Economy homepage (???)
  5. New header images for the Academics section (June/July)
  6. Customized Story Maps (by various tags) (August)
  7. “MIIS Tales” Story Template (Fall)

New Videos from Eric

MIIS Follies Documented for the First Time

Named Scholars Video

NET Impact Sustainable Fashion

MIIS Student Ambassador Update

from Danielle Johnson

Next Meeting: May 17th Focus Group

We’ll be hosting a focus group on the following areas of the MIIS website:

Please invite other staff and faculty members who you think might be interested to join us.

Summer Projects

SEO Project

Eric, Shanna, and I will be spearheading a project to review our implementation of on-page SEO tactics. We’ll primarily focus on the graduate programs, but any other programs are welcome to join our conversations and processes as well.

Program Assignments

Rebecca – IEM, MPA, TILM(?)
Shanna – IPS, IEP, MBA

To get started, here are some on-page SEO tips:

Naming URLs

To name URLs, please use lowercase letters and dashes (-) to separate words. This helps humans and search engine robots more easily read our URLs.

Naming Images

Before you upload an image to the website, please make sure the file name is readable. (Ex. william_arrocha.jpg NOT IMG30001.jpg). This also helps humans and search engines read the content of the file.

“Alt” tags for Images

If your embedding images within the text, please set the “alt” tags with meaningful text. (Ex. alt=”Lindsey Bowman, TESOL Student Ambassador” )

Hierarchy of Text

Breaking up your text with headings helps search engines understand which information on the page is most important – not to mention that it helps humans scan the content for the information they’re looking for.

Choosing Anchor Text

Anchor text is the text you use to link to other webpages or content. You should use your keywords within this text. (Ex. a link named “study abroad” should lead to our page about our immersive learning programs).

Continued Mobile Site Improvements

Up next: Ability to add custom links and feeds when you’re logged into the mobile site

Events Calendar: New Look

We’ll *finally* be implementing Middlebury’s events calendar on our site

Web Strategy Meeting 04.19.12

Web Updates

Careers section makeover completed

Highlights include:

  • More visual and interactive look and feel
  • Streamlined navigation
  • Customized story feeds (Quick note, so that the photos on the story feeds look consistent, I’m recommending a size of 238x180px for photos of News Room and MIIS Around the World stories.)

Monterey Abroad Section Updates

NPTS Landing Page

New Website Buttons

Please let Rebecca know if you need copies of the website buttons to use within your site. They come in small or large sizes:

Blogging Community: Server Migration

  • sites.miis.edu’s migration to LAMP servers at Middlebury has been completed; this should bring us better performance and stability in the future
  • New plugins such as Simple Facebook Connect and Twitter tools for your social media needs
  • 50+ new themes – coming soon
  • Please let Rebecca know if you experience any usability issues with the blogging community. The Middlebury LIS guys have been awesome about turning around any bugs and usability issues in less than a day!

Mobile Website Updates

  • Course catalog module added
  • New blog feeds added
  • Coming soon: redirecting mobile users to the site, instead of the regular MIIS website
  • If you have any ideas for mobile website content, please let Rebecca know, or leave a comment on this blog post.

Coming Soon: New Look for the Blue TitleCard Space

For Academic Programs

Reminder: Drupal Work Sessions Every Thursday and Friday from 2-4pm in the Digital Learning Commons

Web Strategy Meeting 02.23.12

Academics Landing Page

Is there a better, more scannable way we could organize this content? Examples:

Social Media at MIIS


Monterey Institute (Main Page)
Monterey Institute Intensive English Programs
Middlebury-Monterey Summer Intensive College English
Student Services at MIIS
Monterey Institute’s Summer Intensive Language Programs
Center for Nonproliferation Studies
Digital Learning Commons
Monterey Institute Incoming Student Group (2012-2013)
CNS Alumni Group
Other Alumni Groups: San Francisco, Minneapolis, Austin, Nairobi, Denver, Los Angelos, New York



MIIS Tags Revisited

  • How the alumni tag should be used.
  • Learn more about our taxonomy terms and what they’re used to accomplish.

MIIS Website Menu Details

Example: Admissions Requirements vs. FAQs

FAQs Page Template

  • See Admissions FAQs
  • Let me know if you still need this template for your FAQs webpage

New Ambassador Program

  • With Molly Lineberger & Danielle Johnson
  • Student-driven recruiting efforts; one student representing each program
  • Middlebury has a similar program
  • Will have profiles on the MIIS website


Test our New Web Inquiry Form

Sites DOT MIISThe Middlebury Institute site network.