CU Boulder - migration from static to CMS

About CU Boulder

The University of Colorado at Boulder was in the process of transferring their static websites to a CMS to streamline the branding, content update and upgrade process.

The web team I communicated with regularly included a creative director/manager and 2 infrastructure/devops engineers. I was the sole web designer/developer. Daily, I would be in contact with department representatives to customize the website and training according to their needs, site-build Wordpress or Drupal websites to requirements and write HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript for consistent branding and user experience.

Challenges

I was in charge of up to 3 websites, each at different stages. Understanding each department's needs in order to customize the website and give the appropriate training was key. But also, I had to make the code and design as consistent as possible so patterns could be reused throughout all sites.

Strategy

The first step was finding which patterns I could reuse and pitch to department's representatives. The second step was to understand content type and page they wanted to create/edit and how they wanted them displayed. The third step was to site build and code the theme, content type and page as well as taking notes of training materials. The last step was collaborative feedback and training, appropriate changes and getting ready to launch.

Projects reveal

Two of the biggest sites I have worked on were the Classics and Physics websites. They launched successfully, their content was easily updated by representatives and most of the content building survived despite more design standardization throughout all CU sites.