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Developing Departmental Websites at Indiana University

Learning paths road sign.Congratulations! You made it! If you’re here, that can mean any number of things, but most likely you have inherited a departmental web site and are going to redesign it or you have been newly hired and are responsible for redesigning the department’s site. Where do you begin?

If this sounds overwhelming, then you are in the right place. My goal, by the end of this post, is to help you understand the landscape for departmental and group web pages at the university and describe some resources to help you along your way.

Before we jump into the specifics, let’s get a quick overview of what this post contains.

  1. The IU Brand – find out how to make your site conform to the visual identity that has been established for IU.
  2. Plan Ahead and Prepare – Not just a part of Leave No Trace, but also a crucial phase in web design and development. Understand the problem fully before you begin building a solution.
  3. Build, build, build – Put your planning to good use while putting together all the pieces of your site.
  4. Publish, Document, and Maintain – Once you have a design, it’s time to publish it, create help documentation, and then maintain and grow the site through the future.

The process is not linear, nor does it have a finite ending point. Instead, the process looks something more like this:

Plan, build, maintain, repeat.

After your planning phase, you build. Once built, you maintain. While maintaining, you build new features, etc. There will come a point when you need to break out of the Maintain-Build loop back to the planning phase. As you can see from the diagram above, there really is no end to the web design process, only changes of phase.

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